Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada

The University of British Columbia, commonly referred to as UBC, is a public research university with campuses and facilities in the province of British Columbia, Canada.Founded in 1908 as the McGill University College of British Columbia, the university became independent and adopted its current name in 1915. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in British Columbia and enrolls over 58,000 students at its Vancouver and Okanagan Valley campuses. UBC's 4.02 km2 Vancouver campus is located within the University Endowment Lands, about 10 km from Downtown Vancouver. The 2.09 km2 Kelowna campus, acquired in 2005, is located in the Okanagan Valley.UBC is ranked 30th in the world according to U.S. News & World Report 's 2015 rankings and eighth among universities outside the United States by Newsweek. UBC faculty, alumni, and researchers have won seven Nobel Prizes, 68 Rhodes Scholarships, 65 Olympic medals, 180 fellowships to the Royal Society of Canada, and alumni include two Canadian prime ministers. UBC is a research-intensive university that funds more than 8,000 projects with its $519 million research budget.UBC is a non-sectarian and coeducational institution, with more than 275,000 living alumni in 120 countries. The university is a member of Universitas 21, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, the International Association of Universities, the U15 and the only Canadian member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. The university's varsity teams, known as the Thunderbirds in Vancouver and the Heat in the Okanagan, compete in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of British Columbia | Date: 2016-04-18

This invention provides the use of a polymer comprising a hyperbranched polyether polyol such as hyperbranched polyglycerol as a serum albumin substitute. Also provided are high molecular weight hyperbranched polyglycerol polymers suitable for a variety of medical and non-medical uses including methods for making such high molecular weight polymers.


Patent
University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University | Date: 2015-04-09

This invention provides compound having a structure of Formulas: Uses of such compounds for treatment of various indications, including prostate cancer as well as methods of treatment involving such compounds are also provide.


Patent
University of British Columbia | Date: 2016-07-14

The present invention provides methods for inhibiting complement activation and uses thereof. More specifically, the present invention provides methods for inhibiting complement activation using inorganic polyphosphates of at least 10 phosphate units. The polyphosphates inhibit complement activation by one or more of: binding to the C6 complement protein, C1-esterase inhibitor (C1-inh), factor H or factor B; enhancing the activity of C1-inh; interfering with C1s-mediated cleavage of C2; destabilizing the C5b-6 complement protein complex; interfering with C5b,6 interaction with C7; interfering with binding of C5b-7 to a cell membrane; interfering with integration of C5b-7 into a cell membrane; interfering with binding of C5b-8 to a cell membrane; interfering with integration of C5b-8 into a cell membrane; destabilizing the membrane attack complex (MAC); or reducing the amount of C5b-9 deposited on a cell surface.


Patent
University of British Columbia, University of Toronto and Institute National Of Recherche En Informatique Et En Automatique | Date: 2015-04-16

A method is for estimating a three-dimensional (3D) representation of a set of two-dimensional (2D) curves of a concept drawing, the estimate of the 3D representation corresponding to a 3D object underlying the concept drawing. The method comprises: obtaining a representation of a set of 2D curves a concept drawing that represent a 3D object underlying the concept drawing; determining an energy function based on the set of 2D curves, the energy function comprising one or more terms, each term reflective of a preference for a 3D representation based on a characteristic of the 2D curves which reflects how concept drawings are commonly perceived to represent 3D objects; and performing an optimization which minimizes the energy function to thereby determine the 3D representation.


Patent
Michigan State University, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and University of British Columbia | Date: 2017-03-08

The invention relates to nucleic acids encoding a feruloyl-CoA:monolignol transferase and the feruloyl-CoA:monolignol transferase enzyme that enables incorporation of monolignol ferulates, for example, including p-coumaryl ferulate, coniferyl ferulate, and sinapyl ferulate, into the lignin of plants.


Fordyce C.B.,University of British Columbia | Douglas P.S.,Duke Clinical Research Institute
JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging | Year: 2017

The categories and quality of evidence documenting the value of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging have evolved substantially over the last several decades. From an initial emphasis on the diagnostic accuracy of various imaging modalities, cardiovascular imaging has matured into an outcomes-based field that now provides evidence on adverse events, safety, cost, and patient quality-of-life endpoints, and does so in the setting of large randomized trials. This review aims to highlight types of outcomes endpoints, including updating the hierarchy of evidence for diagnostic imaging as first proposed by Fryback and Thornbury, and critically reviewing their application in the current cardiovascular imaging evidence base. We describe the range of data categories generated to date for the various imaging modalities, and indicate how this provides insights into contemporary study design and future directions in cardiovascular imaging outcomes research. © 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation


Muratori P.,University of British Columbia
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2017

BACKGROUND/AIM: Antimitochondrial antibody (AMA) positivity is the serological marker of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), but can also be sporadically detected in autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Little is known about the clinical significance of AMA in AIH. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We recruited 47 AMA-positive AIH cases from several centres and compared them with 264 well-characterized Italian AIH patients. Cases with any features of PBC were excluded. RESULTS: In univariate analysis, AMA-positive AIH patients were older (46 vs. 36, P=0.002) and more responsive to immunosuppression (74 vs. 59%, P=0.05), but no differences were observed between the two groups after logistic regression using AMA as a dependent variable. None of the AMA-positive AIH patients showed signs of evolving PBC features after a median follow-up of up 47 months. AMA was detected in combination with all serological AIH markers except antiliver kidney microsome type 1 and antiliver cytosol type 1. AMA was the only marker of autoimmunity in eight cases. CONCLUSION: We found no differences between AIH with and without AMA. The groups had similar clinical, biochemical and histological features. AMA-positive AIH patients did not evolve towards PBC. In some cases, AMA was the only autoantibody. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Mouzaki M.,University of British Columbia
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2017

BACKGROUND:: The literature on the optimal clinical management of pediatric patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is limited. The objective of this study was to identify discrepancies in the care provided to patients with NAFLD by hepatologists practicing in academic centers across Canada. METHODS:: A nationwide survey was distributed electronically to all pediatric hepatologists practicing in university-affiliated hospitals using the infrastructure of the Canadian Pediatric Hepatology Research Group. The responses were anonymous. RESULTS:: The response rate to the survey was 79%. Everyone reported diagnosing NAFLD based on a combination of elevated transaminases and imaging suggestive of steatosis in the context of an otherwise negative work-up for other liver diseases. Only 14% use liver biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. There are significant discrepancies in the frequency of screening for other comorbidities (e.g. hypertension, sleep apnea, etc.), as well as in the frequency of laboratory investigations (e.g. lipid profile, transaminases, INR etc.). Frequency of outpatient clinic follow-up varies significantly. Treatment is consistently based on lifestyle modifications; however, reported patient outcomes in terms of BMI improvements are poor. CONCLUSION:: There are significant discrepancies in the care provided to children with NAFLD by hepatologists practicing in academic centers across Canada. © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,


Gustafson H.M.,University of British Columbia
Spine | Year: 2017

STUDY DESIGN.: Ex vivo compression experiments on isolated cadaveric vertebrae OBJECTIVE.: To qualitatively compare the fracture locations identified in video analysis with the locations of high compressive strain measured with DIC on vertebral bodies and to evaluate the timing of local damage to the cortical shell relative to the global yield force SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: In previous ex vivo experiments, cortical bone fracture has been identified using various methods including acoustic emission sensors, strain gages, video analysis, or force signals. However, these methods are limited in their ability to detect the location and timing of fracture. We propose use of digital image correlation (DIC), a non-contact optical technique that measures surface displacement, to quantify variables related to damage. METHODS.: Isolated thoracolumbar human cadaveric vertebral bodies (n?=?6) were tested in compression to failure at a quasi-static rate, and the force applied was measured using a load cell. The surface displacement and strain were measured using DIC. Video analysis was performed to identify fractures. RESULTS.: The location of fractures identified in the video corresponded well with the locations of high compressive strain on the bone. Prior to reaching the global yield force, more than 10% of the DIC measurements reached a minimum principal strain of 1.0%, a previously reported threshold for cortical bone damage. CONCLUSIONS.: DIC measurements provide an objective measure that can be used to identify the location and timing of fractures during ex vivo vertebral experiments. This is important for understanding fracture mechanics and for validating vertebral computational models that incorporate failure.Level of Evidence: N/A Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Russell J.A.,University of British Columbia
Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2017

OBJECTIVES:: The Septic Shock 3.0 definition could alter treatment comparisons in randomized controlled trials in septic shock. Our first hypothesis was that the vasopressin versus norepinephrine comparison and 28-day mortality of patients with Septic Shock 3.0 definition (lactate > 2 mmol/L) differ from vasopressin versus norepinephrine and mortality in Vasopressin and Septic Shock Trial. Our second hypothesis was that there are differences in plasma cytokine levels in Vasopressin and Septic Shock Trial for lactate less than or equal to 2 versus greater than 2 mmol/L. DESIGN:: Retrospective analysis of randomized controlled trial. SETTING:: Multicenter ICUs. METHODS:: We compared vasopressin-to-norepinephrine group 28- and 90-day mortality in Vasopressin and Septic Shock Trial in lactate subgroups. We measured 39 cytokines to compare patients with lactate less than or equal to 2 versus greater than 2 mmol/L. PATIENTS:: Patients with septic shock with lactate greater than 2 mmol/L or less than or equal to 2 mmol/L, randomized to vasopressin or norepinephrine. INTERVENTIONS:: Concealed vasopressin (0.03 U/min.) or norepinephrine infusions. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: The Septic Shock 3.0 definition would have decreased sample size by about half. The 28- and 90-day mortality rates were 10–12 % higher than the original Vasopressin and Septic Shock Trial mortality. There was a significantly (p = 0.028) lower mortality with vasopressin versus norepinephrine in lactate less than or equal to 2 mmol/L but no difference between treatment groups in lactate greater than 2 mmol/L. Nearly all cytokine levels were significantly higher in patients with lactate greater than 2 versus less than or equal to 2 mmol/L. CONCLUSIONS:: The Septic Shock 3.0 definition decreased sample size by half and increased 28-day mortality rates by about 10%. Vasopressin lowered mortality versus norepinephrine if lactate was less than or equal to 2 mmol/L. Patients had higher plasma cytokines in lactate greater than 2 versus less than or equal to 2 mmol/L, a brisker cytokine response to infection. The Septic Shock 3.0 definition and our findings have important implications for trial design in septic shock. Copyright © by 2017 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Coleman K.P.,University of British Columbia
Global Governance | Year: 2017

Adequate financing is fundamental to the success of any peace operation. In June 2015, the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations advanced three proposals that would extend UN peacekeeping financing beyond its current boundaries to produce a more comprehensive system of funding peace operations. It advocated giving UN special political missions access to backstopping and transitional funding mechanisms created for peacekeeping operations; providing more predictable financing for UNmandated African Union-led peace operations; and establishing a single peace operations account to finance all UN peace operations. Yet reforming UN peacekeeping financing is notoriously difficult, not least because of deeply politicized cleavages among member states. This article explores the ongoing debates that the panel’s proposals- and the subsequent UN Secretariat implementation report-intersected with and contributed to. It also highlights the complex interplay between panel members, Secretariat officials, and member states in the politics of UN financing reform. It identifies three critical success factors for reform proposals: proposal quality, the proposal’s ability to avoid inflaming political cleavages, and the strength and commitment of the support coalition it mobilizes. Although implementation ultimately depends on states, panel members and Secretariat officials play key roles in attempting to craft proposals that strike a propitious balance among these factors. © 2017, Lynne Rienner Publishers. All rights reserved.


Hanson N.W.,University of British Columbia | Konwar K.M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Hallam S.J.,University of British Columbia
Bioinformatics | Year: 2016

Motivation: A perennial problem in the analysis of environmental sequence information is the assignment of reads or assembled sequences, e.g. contigs or scaffolds, to discrete taxonomic bins. In the absence of reference genomes for most environmental microorganisms, the use of intrinsic nucleotide patterns and phylogenetic anchors can improve assembly-dependent binning needed for more accurate taxonomic and functional annotation in communities of microorganisms, and assist in identifying mobile genetic elements or lateral gene transfer events. Results: Here, we present a statistic called LCA∗inspired by Information and Voting theories that uses the NCBI Taxonomic Database hierarchy to assign taxonomy to contigs assembled from environmental sequence information. The LCA∗algorithm identifies a sufficiently strong majority on the hierarchy while minimizing entropy changes to the observed taxonomic distribution resulting in improved statistical properties. Moreover, we apply results from the order-statistic literature to formulate a likelihood-ratio hypothesis test and P-value for testing the supremacy of the assigned LCA∗taxonomy. Using simulated and real-world datasets, we empirically demonstrate that votingbased methods, majority vote and LCA∗, in the presence of known reference annotations, are consistently more accurate in identifying contig taxonomy than the lowest common ancestor algorithm popularized by MEGAN, and that LCA∗taxonomy strikes a balance between specificity and confidence to provide an estimate appropriate to the available information in the data. © The Author 2016.


Shi J.,University of British Columbia | Avramidis S.,University of British Columbia
Holzforschung | Year: 2017

The origin of sorption hysteresis in the wood-water system is still under debate. In nanoporous-fluid systems, in general, hysteresis is explained as the manifestation of metastable states in a single pore-fluid system and that is further complicated by the pore connectivity. Cell walls are considered as micro-mesoporous materials and capillary condensation in the entire hygroscopic region is proposed as an alternative sorption mechanism. In the present work, the woods of Douglas-fir, aspen and western red cedar were in focus and the pore connectivity has been investigated by observing five experimentally generated hysteresis patterns comprised by up to 4th scanning curves at 25 and 40°C. Special attention was given to the congruency property from one pattern as it is known from the literature that deviation from this property can reveal the extent of pore connectivity. Consistent patterns were found for the specieserature combinations. Further, the high extent of congruency property indicated the dominance of independent cell wall pores. © 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


Leveridge A.N.,University of British Columbia
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2017

The present paper reflects on a project that investigated the use of an alternative presentation form of a wiki: a timeline wiki. The timeline wiki presents relations and/or linking within the learning content more saliently, possibly reducing the amount of cognitive load, while providing the learner with an overview of the learning content. The curriculum was formed around a CLIL approach through an SFL lens. A learning attitude survey was employed to gather student perceptions on the usability, effectiveness, and satisfaction with the tool. The results suggest that this alternative presentation mode enhanced learner autonomy. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.


Myers J.H.,University of British Columbia | Sarfraz R.M.,University of British Columbia
Annual Review of Entomology | Year: 2017

Apparent feeding damage by insects on plants is often slight. Thus, the influences of insect herbivores on plant populations are likely minor. The role of insects on host-plant populations can be elucidated via several methods: stage-structured life tables of plant populations manipulated by herbivore exclusion and seed-addition experiments, tests of the enemy release hypothesis, studies of the effects of accidentally and intentionally introduced insect herbivores, and observations of the impacts of insect species that show outbreak population dynamics. These approaches demonstrate that some, but not all, insect herbivores influence plant population densities. At times, insect-feeding damage kills plants, but more often, it reduces plant size, growth, and seed production. Plant populations for which seed germination is site limited will not respond at the population level to reduced seed production. Insect herbivores can influence rare plant species and need to be considered in conservation programs. Alterations due to climate change in the distributions of insect herbivores indicate the possibility of new influences on host plants. Long-term studies are required to show if density-related insect behavior stabilizes plant populations or if environmental variation drives most temporal fluctuations in plant densities. Finally, insects can influence plant populations and communities through changing the diversity of nonhost species, modifying nutrient fluxes, and rejuvenating over mature forests. © 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Shadkam A.,University of British Columbia
Scripta Materialia | Year: 2017

The strain-rate sensitivity along the load-unload experiments on fine-grained pure Cu and Cu-Ni alloys are presented. For grain sizes lying in the range of 1–10 μm in pure Cu, Cu16at%Ni and Cu50at%Ni, an elevated rate sensitivity at the first few percent of plastic strain is observed. At this elasto-plastic transition, a substantial hysteresis during unloading is developed corroborating to the Bauschinger effect in the fine-grained materials. The strain rate sensitivity results are analyzed along the load-unload response of the materials. A dislocation-based phenomenological model is developed to describe the experimental observations. © 2017 Acta Materialia Inc.


Moskalev I.,University of British Columbia
Oncogene | Year: 2017

The acquisition of an invasive phenotype by epithelial cells occurs through a loss of cellular adhesion and polarity, heralding a multistep process that leads to metastatic dissemination. Since its characterization in 1995, epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been closely linked to the metastatic process. As a defining aspect of EMT, loss of cell adhesion through downregulation of E-cadherin is carried out by several transcriptional repressors; key among them the SNAI family of transcription factors. Here we identify for the first time that Lyn kinase functions as a key modulator of SNAI family protein localization and stability through control of the Vav-Rac1-PAK1 (Vav-Rac1-p21-activated kinase) pathway. Accordingly, targeting Lyn in vitro reduces EMT and in vivo reduces metastasis of primary tumors. We also demonstrate the clinical relevance of targeting Lyn as a key player controlling EMT; patient samples across many cancers revealed a strong negative correlation between Lyn and E-cadherin, and high Lyn expression in metastatic tumors as well as metastasis-prone primary tumors. This work reveals a novel pancancer mechanism of Lyn-dependent control of EMT and further underscores the role of this kinase in tumor progression.Oncogene advance online publication, 13 March 2017; doi:10.1038/onc.2017.5. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.


Freeman H.J.,University of British Columbia
International Journal of Celiac Disease | Year: 2015

An elderly physician with iron deficiency anemia and early stage colon cancer localized in the cecum was treated successfully with laparoscopic right hemicolectomy. Despite treatment, her iron deficiency anemia persisted. Subsequent investigations revealed occult celiac disease that completely resolved with a gluten-free diet alone. Iron deficiency anemia in celiac disease may have multiple causes including reduced duodenal iron absorption because of reduced absorptive surface area, alterations or mutations in iron regulatory proteins critical for normal iron absorption, superimposed occult blood loss from different causes including benign and malignant small bowel ulceration, and low grade intravascular hemolysis. Although iron deficiency anemia may be the sole presenting clinical manifestation of occult celiac disease without other typical symptoms, such as diarrhea or weight loss, a very thorough gastrointestinal assessment is essential to exclude other causes of iron deficiency anemia. Conversely, persistent or refractory iron deficiency anemia may represent a clue to unrecognized celiac disease, even in the elderly. © Science and Education Publishing.


Tyndall J.,University of British Columbia
International Journal of Sustainable Transportation | Year: 2017

Carsharing programs have demonstrated a potential to significantly shift incentives with regard to private vehicle ownership. The advent of free-floating vehicle fleets has enabled providers to offer ubiquitous vehicle access in designated urban areas. The ability of users to choose where to drop off vehicles presents the possibility that the density of available vehicles in particular areas will be insufficient to supply a reasonable level of service to local residents. The current paper will use exclusive data on vehicle location from a free-floating carshare service that operates in ten U.S. cities. Analysis will relate the availability of vehicles to census tract demographics. Results show vehicles cluster in tracts that are disproportionately populated by residents who are educated, young, employed, and white. Carshare systems have received significant in-kind incentives from government to operate. The mobility benefits of free-floating carshare systems appear to accrue disproportionately to advantaged populations. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Gregory M.J.,University of British Columbia
Ore Geology Reviews | Year: 2017

The hydrothermal fluid evolution in the supergiant Pebble porphyry Cu-Au-Mo deposit in southwest Alaska has been constrained using fluid inclusion and light stable isotope data. The deposit is related to ~ 90 Ma granodiorite porphyry intrusions and mineralization occurs primarily in sodic-potassic, potassic, and advanced argillic alteration zones. Throughout the deposit vein quartz hosts intermediate-density fluid inclusion assemblages with an average salinity of 9.5 wt% NaCl equivalent and homogenization temperatures of 377 to 506 °C. Pressure corrections result in trapping temperatures with a maximum of 610 °C. This early fluid exsolved from a crystallizing magma at depth and underwent phase separation under varying conditions during cooling and depressurization forming two distinct fluid compositions. The two fluids formed two hydrothermal alteration assemblages which have different metal signatures. In the hydrothermal core in the eastern part of the system, high-density quartz veins, potassic alteration and the most economically significant mineralization are related to ~ 52 wt% NaCl equivalent brines that coexist with very low-density vapor. In the western part of the system peripheral to the hydrothermal core, lower quartz vein densities accompanied by sodic-potassic alteration and lower grade mineralization are associated with ~ 38 wt% NaCl equivalent brines and low-density vapor. Sulfide mineralization precipitated late in this early alteration event at temperatures between 375 and 330 °C. Fluids related to sodic-potassic alteration minerals have δ18O signatures from + 6.0 to + 10.5‰ VSMOW and δD values from − 70 to − 41‰ VSMOW, which are consistent with a magmatic fluid source. Fluids related to potassic alteration assemblages have δ18O of − 1.7 to + 2.3‰ VSMOW and δD of − 68 to − 59‰ VSMOW, which suggests that the magmatic fluids evolved to lighter oxygen isotope signatures due to quartz precipitation during alteration. Lower temperature (~ 280 °C) sericite and illite alteration followed the high-temperature magmatic stage and formed from the rising vapor plume as it mixed with varying amounts of meteoric fluid. Sericite in quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration on the periphery of the deposit and illite from areas of illite ± kaolinite alteration which overprints sodic-potassic alteration and forms quartz-illite-pyrite alteration within the deposit are related to low-salinity aqueous fluids that have a significant magmatic component (+ 2.1 to + 4.1‰ δ18O and − 76 to − 67‰ δD). Illite alteration which overprints both potassic alteration and quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration formed from fluids with a large meteoric component (− 9.1 to − 4.8‰ δ18O and − 101 to − 90‰ δD). The higher vein density and therefore higher permeability in the core of the deposit facilitated ingress of larger amounts of meteoric fluid compared with the more peripheral region. Advanced argillic alteration and associated high-grade mineralization are related to a second pulse of magmatic fluid which did not intersect the two phase field during cooling and depressurization. The fluid contracted to form a 3 wt% NaCl equivalent aqueous fluid that resulted in a sericite-pyrite-bornite-digenite bearing assemblage with a magmatic signature (4.6 to 6.5‰ δ18O and − 108 to − 102‰ δD) at 340 °C. Cooling and mixing of this fluid with meteoric water resulted in a fluid that formed a pyrophyllite-quartz-sericite-chalcopyrite bearing assemblage (− 8.9 to − 0.6‰ δ18O and − 110 to − 96‰ δD) at 300 °C. Compared to older potassic and sodic-potassic alteration, the advanced argillic alteration has a highly depleted δD signature which is attributed to degassing of a crystallizing intrusive fluid source. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Spiegel J.M.,University of British Columbia
Journal of Public Health Policy | Year: 2017

To improve the governance needed to create Healthy Cities, it is essential that policy processes directly engage marginalized populations and address the forces that affect health equity. Framings such as that provided by the Latin American collective health/social medicine/critical epidemiology orientation to critical processes of social determination of health enables a move beyond a reductionist focus to challenge the drivers that undermine health, and are consistent with policy directives such as the Shanghai Declaration on promoting health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. © 2017 Palgrave Macmillan UK


Brotto L.A.,University of British Columbia
Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2017

Low sexual desire is the most common sexual complaint in women, with multinational studies finding that at least a third of women experience low sexual desire. No single etiology for the development of Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder, the diagnosis laid out by the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, has been established. There has been considerable interest in pharmacological approaches to improving low desire, and agents targeting a range of neurotransmitters have been examined. To date, only flibanserin, a centrally acting medication targeting the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine systems, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Despite statistically significant effects on sexual desire, sexual distress, and sexually satisfying events, side-effects are significant, and flibanserin is completely contraindicated with alcohol. As such, there has been renewed interest in advancing the science of psychological approaches to low desire, including cognitive behavioral and mindfulness therapies. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


Baniak N.,University of British Columbia
Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology | Year: 2017

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms of the digestive tract. They are relatively rare neoplasms compared with gastrointestinal carcinomas and usually can readily be differentiated from carcinomas based on the morphology of the neoplastic cells that are typically spindled (70%), pure epithelioid, or mixed type. GISTs in general lack expression of cytokeratin and exhibit immunoreactivity toward CD117, CD34, or DOG1. GISTs can demonstrate a pure epithelioid morphology that can appear similar histologically to a carcinoma. Very few epithelioid GISTs have been reported to express cytokeratin, which can lead to diagnostic challenges especially in cases with pure epithelioid morphology. Epithelioid GISTs should be considered in the differential diagnosis when evaluating gastrointestinal neoplasms with overlapping epithelioid and carcinoma-like morphology. An accurate diagnosis can be made using additional immunohistochemical studies directed against CD117, CD34, or DOG1. Advanced investigations such as mutation analysis of KIT using molecular pathology methods can further assist in confirming the diagnosis. Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Freeman H.J.,University of British Columbia
International Journal of Celiac Disease | Year: 2015

A number of studies have explored the role of different serological methods along with endoscopic biopsies for celiac disease population screening as well as case finding in clinical practice. Serological testing with quantitative assays is highly sensitive with a positive predictive value for strongly positive levels of tissue transglutaminase antibodies approaching 80% or more. In a recent comparative study, endoscopic biopsies were reported to have a positive predictive value up to 100% and appear to be especially valuable in selected groups with key symptoms, including diarrhea, weight loss and anemia. Overall, studies have suggested that celiac disease occurs in about 1% of the population in some nations of Europe and the United States. However, in some symptomatic patients referred for endoscopic evaluation, added duodenal biopsy is a critical investigative tool that, in many instances, has been underutilized as a case-finding tool. Some long-term studies have also suggested that detection of celiac disease has increased, possibly due to better awareness and recognition. Others believe that a recent increase in the disease per se may have occurred, possibly related to environmental factors, including newly developed pharmacologic or biologic agents. © Science and Education Publishing.


Freeman H.J.,University of British Columbia
International Journal of Celiac Disease | Year: 2016

Evidence largely from earlier prevalence studies and recent population-based studies indicate that there is a strong clinical association between autoimmune thyroid disease and adult celiac disease. In part, at least, this appears to be related to common genetically-based determinants as well as a common embryonic origin since the fetal thyroid is derived from the pharyngeal gut. Specific phenotypic features have been described if both disorders are defined, including dermatitis herpetiformis, and a greater risk for a malignant complication, including lymphoma, especially if celiac disease is initially diagnosed at a late age. Some phenotypic characteristics of autoimmune thyroid disease, such as orbitopathy, may be an important clue to occult celiac disease. Similarly, a high thyroxine dose requirement for treatment of autoimmune thyroid disease may be another phenotypic characteristic of undetected celiac disease. Serological screening for celiac disease should be considered if autoimmune thyroid disease is detected. © Science and Education Publishing.


Hoque E.,University of British Columbia
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI | Year: 2016

Analyzing and gaining insights from a large amount of textual conversations can be quite challenging for a user, especially when the discussions become very long. During my doctoral research, I have focused on integrating Information Visualization (InfoVis) with Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to better support the user's task of exploring and analyzing conversations. For this purpose, I have designed a visual text analytics system that supports the user exploration, starting from a possibly large set of conversations, then narrowing down to a subset of conversations, and eventually drilling-down to a set of comments of one conversation. While so far our approach is evaluated mainly based on lab studies, in my on-going and future work I plan to evaluate our approach via online longitudinal studies.


Gilbert S.,University of British Columbia
CSCW 2017 - Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing | Year: 2017

Online initiatives, a term that describes goal-oriented systems such as crowdsourcing, peer production, and online communities, are increasingly popular ways to source work from and harness the skills of distributed populations. The explosion of online initiatives in recent years has inspired scholarship examining why people contribute to these initiatives. While there is an abundance of case studies on motivation, there is a dearth of research that explores motivation between initiative types. Through case studies of two online initiatives, my dissertation research explores relationships between initiative structure, engagement, and participant role on motivation.


Zhitnitsky A.,University of British Columbia
EPJ Web of Conferences | Year: 2017

We review a testable dark matter (DM) model outside of the standard WIMP paradigm. The model is unique in a sense that the observed ratio Ωdark ≈ Ωvisible for visible and dark matter densities finds its natural explanation as a result of their common QCD origin when both types of matter (DM and visible) are formed during the QCD phase transition and both are proportional to single dimensional parameter of the system, Λqcd. We argue that the charge separation effect also inevitably occurs during the same QCD phase transition in the presence of the CP odd axion field a(x). It leads to preferential formation of one species of nuggets on the scales of the visible Universe where the axion field a(x) is coherent. A natural outcome of this preferential evolution is that only one type of the visible baryons (not anti- baryons) remain in the system after the nuggets complete their formation. Unlike conventional WIMP dark matter candidates, the nuggets and anti-nuggets are strongly interacting but macroscopically large objects. The rare events of annihilation of the anti-nuggets with visible matter lead to a number of observable effects. We argue that the relative intensities for a number of measured excesses of emission from the centre of galaxy (covering more than 11 orders of magnitude) are determined by standard and well established physics. At the same time the absolute intensity of emission is determined by a single new fundamental parameter of the theory, the axion mass, 10-6eV ≤ ma ≤ 10-3eV. Finally, we comment on implications of these studies for the axion search experiments, including microwave cavity and the Orpheus experiments. © The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017.


Barry J.C.,University of British Columbia
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2017

Obesity is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation driven by activation and tissue infiltration of circulating leukocytes. Although exercise has anti-inflammatory effects, the impact of exercise on mediators of leukocyte migration is unclear. PURPOSE: To determine the impact of high intensity interval training (HIIT) versus moderate intensity continuous training (MICT), in the absence of weight/fat loss, on circulating chemokines and leukocyte chemokine receptors. METHODS: Thirty-seven inactive obese adults were randomized to two weeks (10 sessions) of HIIT or MICT with fasting blood samples collected before and after training. Plasma concentration of C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2; also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1), CCL3 (also known as macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha), and C-X-C motif ligand 8 (CXCL8; also known as interleukin (IL)-8) were determined and the chemokine receptors CCR2, CCR5, and CXCR2 were measured on monocytes, neutrophils, and T cells. RESULTS: MICT reduced the percentage of monocytes positive for CCR2 and reduced surface protein expression of CXCR2 on monocytes (both p<0.05), whereas HIIT increased CCR5 surface protein expression and percentage CCR5 positive monocytes and neutrophils (all p<0.05) along with increasing the percentage of T cells that were positive for CCR5 (p<0.05). There were no significant changes in circulating chemokines, body fat percentage or visceral adipose tissue. CONCLUSION: Exercise, in the absence of weight/fat loss and without changes in circulating chemokines, has direct effects on leukocytes in obese adults with HIIT and MICT resulting in different responses. MICT may reduce monocyte migration potential through downregulation of CCR2 and CXCR2, whereas HIIT may increase potential for CCR5-mediated monocyte, neutrophil and T cell infiltration. The impact of different exercise protocols on leukocyte trafficking to tissues in obesity warrants further research. © 2017 American College of Sports Medicine


RATIONALE:: Sepsis-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common condition with high morbidity and mortality. Neutrophil-derived heparin-binding protein (HBP) induces vascular leakage and is a promising biomarker of sepsis-induced organ dysfunction. It remains unknown if HBP is prognostic of AKI in septic shock and if HBP could play a role in the pathophysiology of sepsis-induced AKI. OBJECTIVES:: To determine the association of plasma HBP levels with development of AKI, investigate the role of HBP in the pathophysiology of sepsis-induced AKI, and test the effect of blocking HBP using heparin derivatives. METHODS:: In 296 septic shock patients from the randomized multicenter Vasopressin and Septic Shock Trial (VASST) plasma HBP levels were associated with development of AKI and need for renal replacement therapy (RRT). Human renal tubular cells were exposed to recombinant HBP to evaluate inflammation and heparin derivatives were used to abrogate these effects. Finally, mice were exposed to HBP with and without heparin derivatives and the kidneys examined for signs of inflammation. FINDINGS:: Plasma HBP levels were significantly higher in patients with AKI and those requiring RRT. HBP levels identified patients with moderate AKI with an area under curve (AUC) of 0.85. HBP increased IL-6 production in renal tubular epithelial cells. Different heparin derivatives abrogated the HBP-induced increased inflammatory response in vitro and in vivo. CONCLUSION:: Elevated plasma HBP is associated with development of sepsis-induced AKI and HBP is involved in its pathophysiology. Our studies suggest that heparin(s) could be tested for efficacy and safety of prevention of sepsis-induced AKI. © 2017 by the Shock Society


Many problems in environmental management and sustainability have no single, optimal solution. Such problems are called 'wicked problems'. Any solution to a wicked problem will significantly affect a wide range of stakeholders, and cannot be separated from human ethics, values and social equity. Experience with participatory approaches that include stakeholders shows that ecological modelling can lead to applied outcomes that may inform environmental management and policy, thus helping to solve wicked problems. However, many ecological models fail to meet this goal. The key ways in which scientists and ecological modellers can contribute to the search for solutions to wicked problems in collaboration with stakeholders are described. Modelling is identified as a tool that scientists can bring into the deliberative process to facilitate dialogue and evidence-based decision-making within a stakeholder forum. A modelling spiral is proposed as a framework for describing the stages of the modelling process leading to positive change in collaboration with stakeholders. By following the recommendations of the modelling spiral, ecological modellers can accomplish socially relevant research that contributes to the collective search for sustainable solutions to wicked environmental problems. © 2017 British Ecological Society.


Miklossy J.,University of British Columbia
Advances in Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2017

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with dementia, brain atrophy and the aggregation and accumulation of a cortical amyloid-β peptide (Aβ). Chronic bacterial infections are frequently associated with amyloid deposition. It had been known from a century that the spirochete Treponema pallidum can cause dementia in the atrophic form of general paresis where. It is noteworthy that the pathological hallmarks of this atrophic form are similar to those of AD. Recent observations showed that bacteria, including spirochetes contain amyloidogenic proteins and also that Aβ deposition and tau phosphorylation can be induced in vitro or in vivo following exposure to bacteria or LPS. Bacteria or their poorly degradable debris are powerful inflammatory cytokine inducers, activate complement, affect vascular permeability, generate nitric oxide and free radicals, induce apoptosis and are amyloidogenic. All these processes are involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Old and new observations, reviewed here, indicate that to consider the possibility that bacteria, including several types of spirochetes highly prevalent in the population at large or their persisting debris may initiate cascade of events leading to chronic inflammation and amyloid deposition in AD is important, as appropriate antibacterial and antiinflammatory therapy would be available to prevent dementia. © 2017 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.


Rabkin S.W.,University of British Columbia
Current cardiology reviews | Year: 2017

BACKGROUND: Coronary blood flow (CBF) is essential for optimal cardiac performance and to maintain myocardial viability. There is considerable ambiguity concerning CBF in hypertension.OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between CBF and left ventricular (LV) mass in persons with hypertension.METHODS: OvidSP Medline was systematically searched. Eligible articles assessed CBF, and LV mass in adults with and without hypertension (HTN).RESULTS: Eleven studies met the entry criteria. All 8 studies reported an increase in CBF (ml/min) for persons with hypertension (N=212) compared to individuals without hypertension (N=150). Metaanalysis showed a significant and 2.88 fold higher CBP in hypertension. Six studies adjusted CBF for LV mass; of which 4 studies reported a reduction in CBF. Meta-analysis showed a significant decrease in CBF/g LV mass in hypertension. The two studies that did not show a decrease in CBF, used the argon chromatographic method to measure coronary sinus blood flow suggesting this methodology may have influenced the results. Using the mean CBF in normotensive group to construct the expected CBF according to LV mass, reported CBF in HTN was progressively less than expected In two studies, (N=142), there was a significant inverse correlation between LV mass and CBF/ g LV mass. Multivariate analysis (three studies) consistently found a highly significant independent relationship between LV mass and CBF after considering age, sex, heart rate and several other factors.CONCLUSION: Hypertension is associated with a reduction in CBF adjusted for LV mass with a highly significant inverse association between CBF and LV mass. Clinicians should be aware that patients with hypertension are at greater risk for myocardial ischemia should develop other factors that limit CBF or myocardial oxygen delivery.


Martin Ginis K.A.,University of British Columbia
Spinal Cord | Year: 2017

Study design:Cross-sectional.Objectives:To describe participation in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) (amount, intensity and type) among older adults with long-term spinal cord injury (SCI), and to investigate the associations with sociodemographics, injury characteristics and secondary health conditions (SHCs).Setting:Home settings in southern Sweden.Methods:Data from the Swedish Aging with Spinal Cord Injury Study (SASCIS). The physical activity recall assessment for people with SCI was used to assess LTPA among 84 men and 35 women (mean age 63.5 years, mean time since injury 24 years, injury levels C1–L5, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale A–D). Associations were analyzed statistically using hierarchical multivariable regression.Results:Twenty-nine percent reported no LTPA, whereas 53% performed moderate-to-heavy intensity LTPA. The mean minutes per day of total LTPA was 34.7 (±41.5, median 15, range 0–171.7) and of moderate-to-heavy LTPA 22.5 (±35.1, median 5.0, range 0–140.0). The most frequently performed activities were walking and wheeling. Sociodemographics, injury characteristics and SHCs (bowel-related and bladder-related problems, spasticity and pain) explained 10.6% and 13.4%, respectively, of the variance in total and moderate-to-heavy LTPA. Age and wheelchair use were significantly, negatively associated with total LTPA. Women, wheelchair users and employed participants performed significantly less moderate-to-heavy LTPA than men, those using walking devices/no mobility device and unemployed participants.Conclusion:Many older adults with long-term SCI do not reach the amount or intensity of LTPA needed to achieve fitness benefits. Research is needed on how to increase LTPA and to identify modifiable factors that could enhance their participation.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 21 March 2017; doi:10.1038/sc.2017.26. © 2017 International Spinal Cord Society


Study design:Retrospective statistical analysis of database.Objective:Spinal cord injury (SCI) clinical trials are challenged to enroll participants, and early trial outcomes have often been equivocal. We hypothesized that a specifically designed novel true linear interval-scaled outcome measure targeted to simultaneously track a broad range of SCI will enable more inclusive enrollment of participants and valid comparisons of functional changes after SCI.Methods:To define a single SCI measurement framework, we used items from existing measures. To evaluate linearity and validity of the measure, we used rigorous psychometric Rasch analysis on two data sets from over 2500 traumatic SCI participants (all levels and severities of SCI) within the EMSCI (European Multicenter study about SCI) database.Results:Volitional performance was found to be the unidimensional construct that would detect and track a treatment effect from a central nervous system-directed therapeutic. Along with early evidence for voluntary neurological control of upper-extremity muscle contractions, volitional performance is best described by goal-directed activities of daily living that are increasingly difficult to re-acquire when activity within more caudal spinal segments is required. Validity of the Spinal Cord Ability Ruler (SCAR) as a linear interval construct was confirmed with Rasch analysis. All measurement items were properly ordered, as well as being precise and stable across clinically relevant groups. Only 5/24 items had some misfit. Targeting was excellent over time after SCI, with few gaps and only modest floor and ceiling effects (3% each).Conclusions:SCAR is a quantitative linear measure of volitional performance across an inclusive range of tetraplegic and paraplegic SCI.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 21 March 2017; doi:10.1038/sc.2017.1. © 2017 International Spinal Cord Society


Mirenda P.,University of British Columbia
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities | Year: 2017

The evolution of evidence-based practice in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) has occurred via two different but related routes: the conventional research-to-practice route and the more common practice-to-research route. This article defines both routes with examples of each and discusses potential problems that may arise when practice precedes research, with associated solutions. © TASH.


Sbihi H.,University of British Columbia | Koehoorn M.,University of British Columbia | Tamburic L.,University of British Columbia | Brauer M.,University of British Columbia
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2017

Rationale: The heterogeneity of asthma phenotypes may explain inconsistencies in observed associations with environmental exposures. Objectives: To identify trajectories of childhood asthma and to characterize the potential impact of residential greenness and air pollution on asthma trajectory subgroups. Methods: Linked administrative databases of medical visits were used to define the occurrence and recurrence of asthma over a 10-year follow-up period within a population-based birth cohort of more than 65,000 children. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to identify unique asthma trajectories. Weighted multinomial regression was used to assess the relationship between asthma trajectories and risk factors, including environmental exposures. Measurements and Main Results: Group-based trajectory modeling distinguished four trajectories: one with no asthma representing 88.8% of the cohort, one with transient asthma (5.6% of the cohort), and two trajectories with chronic asthma with early (,1 yr; 1.5%) and late (,3 yr; 4.1%) onset during early childhood. These trajectories differed with respect to socioeconomic markers and modifiable risk factors, including maternal smoking and breastfeeding initiation. After accounting for sex, parity, breastfeeding, term birth weight, household income, maternal education, delivery mode, and smoking, an interquartile increase in nitrogen dioxide exposure increased the risk of membership in the early and late-onset chronic asthma trajectories, relative to subjects without asthma, by 50% and 20%, respectively (weighted risk ratio, 1.5 and 1.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.9 and 1.0-1.4). Greenness was not associated with any of the asthma trajectories. Conclusions: Traffic-related air pollution increased the probability of a chronic asthma trajectory. Copyright © 2017 by the American Thoracic Society.


LeBlanc V.G.,University of British Columbia | Marra M.A.,University of British Columbia
Briefings in Functional Genomics | Year: 2016

Adult diffuse gliomas account for the majority of primary malignant brain tumours, and are in most cases lethal. Current therapies are often only marginally effective, and improved options will almost certainly benefit from further insight into the various processes contributing to gliomagenesis and pathology. While molecular characterization of these tumours classifies them on the basis of genetic alterations and chromosomal abnormalities, DNA methylation patterns are increasingly understood to play a role in glioma pathogenesis. Indeed, a subset of gliomas associated with improved survival is characterized by the glioma CpG island methylator phenotype (G-CIMP), which can be induced by the expression of mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1/2). Aberrant methylation of particular genes or regulatory elements, within the context of G-CIMP-positive and/or negative tumours, has also been shown to be associated with differential survival. In this review, we provide an overview of the current knowledge regarding the role of DNA methylation in adult diffuse gliomas. In particular, we discuss IDH mutations and G-CIMP, MGMT promoter methylation, DNA methylation-mediated microRNA regulation and aberrant methylation of specific genes or groups of genes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.medicalnewstoday.com

The international team behind the study - which is published in the journal European Urology - includes members from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. Senior author Mads Daugaard, a senior research scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and an assistant professor of urologic science at UBC, says that this the first time that the idea of using malaria proteins to treat cancer has been put "into a direct clinical context." "There is a massive clinical need to find new treatments for bladder cancer and we saw an opportunity to target this disease with our new malaria drug," he adds. The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it leaves the body. Muscle tissue in the walls of the bladder allow it to stretch to accommodate urine. Bladder cancer arises when cells in the bladder grow out of control. As more cancer cells grow, they can develop into a tumor and spread to neighboring tissue and other parts of the body. The American Cancer Society estimate that there will be approximately 79,030 new cases of bladder cancer and 16,870 deaths from the disease in the United States during 2017. Although it is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S., bladder cancer has the highest per patient cost. There is only one chemotherapy treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) - a predicament that has changed little in 20 years, say the researchers. The standard of care for MIBC is "cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy." However, only around 40 percent of patients show a major response to this first-line treatment and therefore, "second-line treatment options for MIBC are currently in great demand," note the authors in their paper. The new study builds on previous work by Prof. Daugaard and co-investigator Ali Salanti, a professor in the Center for Medical Parasitology at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. That research showed that a protein called VAR2CSA - normally found in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum - could deliver cancer drugs into tumors. The researchers say that the protein attaches to a particular group of sugar chains - called "oncofetal chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycan chains (ofCS)" - that are normally found only in cancer tumors and placental tissue. Because cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer has unusually high levels of ofCS, Prof. Daugaard and colleagues decided to explore the potential for using VAR2CSA as a basis for treating this form of the disease. For the new study, the team used mice implanted with tumors taken from human patients with highly aggressive forms of MIBC. The researchers developed an experimental drug that combined certain domains of the VAR2CSA malarial protein with three cell-toxic compounds derived from a marine sponge. When they treated the mice with the combination drug, there was a dramatic effect: 80 percent of the mice survived for more than 70 days, whereas none of the mice in three other control groups that did not have the combination therapy survived. The team is now working on a way to produce the drug on a larger scale for use in clinical trials. Profs. Daugaard and Salanti will be leading the work at a company that they started. Learn why a type of bladder cancer has similar molecular features to breast cancer.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

The use of certain antibiotics early in pregnancy may have detrimental effects on a woman and her unborn baby. A new research has found a link between these medications and an increased likelihood for miscarriage. For the new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on May 1, researchers found evidence suggesting that taking certain antibiotics known as quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and macrolides may not be good for women in the early stage of their pregnancy. Study researcher Anick Bérard, from the University of Montreal in Canada, and colleagues found that use of these classes of antibiotics before the 20th week of pregnancy is linked to a small increase in risk for pregnancy loss. For their study, the researchers looked at the data collected from the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort from the years 1998 to 2008, which contain information on pregnancies covered by Quebec's drug insurance plan. By comparing the cases of more than 8,700 women who had a miscarriage during the early weeks of pregnancy to about the same number of women who did not, the researchers found an association between use of quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and macrolides and miscarriage. "Although antibiotic use to treat infections has been linked to a decreased risk of prematurity and low birth weight in other studies, our investigation shows that certain types of antibiotics are increasing the risk of spontaneous abortion, with a 60 percent to twofold increased risk," Bérard said. The researchers said that the severity of infection could contribute to pregnancy loss and may help explain some of the increased risks, albeit this variable was not factored in during the analysis. "The main reason for confounding by indication in our study may be differences in the severity of infections. However, we adjusted for several documented proxies for infection severity, such as prior exposure to antibiotics, comorbidities, hospital-based diagnosis of maternal infections, and prior hospital admissions," the researchers wrote. Experts also said that the findings of the study should not make pregnant women fearful of taking antibiotics. For one, infection in pregnant women can also increase the risk of babies developing health conditions such as diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. "My biggest worry would be that women would not take needed therapy for serious infections and therefore put their health and their baby's health at risk," said infectious disease expert Dr. Deborah Money from the University of British Columbia. Other types of antibiotics such as penicillin, erythromycin, nitrofurantoin, and cephalosporin are fortunately considered safe for pregnant women and have even been shown to reduce the chances for low birth weight and premature delivery. None of these have been associated with birth defects. The researchers said that the findings show that the most commonly prescribed drugs are also the safest are reassuring since use of antibiotics is common in pregnancy. Pregnant women can be at risk for vaginal yeast infection. Hormonal changes during pregnancy such as increased levels of estrogen disrupt vaginal pH, which can lead to yeast overload. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Not all cases of weight gain can be attributed to lack of willpower or excessive consumption of high calorie foods. In rare situations, obesity is triggered by genetic factors, which Canadian researchers found are more prevalent than previously estimated. Their work not only provides more insight into the genetic causes of obesity, but it could also be used to help millions of people all around the world take back control over their weight problem. According to senior study author David Meyre, associate professor at the McMaster University in Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Obesity, a deeper understanding of a particular gene and the way it functions pinpoints to the faulty biological mechanism responsible for the onset of obesity. As he told CNN, detailed information on obesity genetics can find applications to the other forms of this condition, which is typically portrayed by a body mass index equal to or over 30. After looking into seven different databases and reviewing 161 papers cited in medical literature on this topic, researchers at the McMaster University and the University of British Columbia discovered the number of genetic conditions associated with obesity far exceeds prior calculations. The team led by Meyre found a staggering total of 79 genetic syndromes, as opposed to just under 30 formerly known. "These syndromes, although individually rare, are much more numerous and diverse than anticipated," said Yuvreet Kaur, first author of the study and BSc at McMaster University. In 19 of these cases, the syndromes were clarified through genetics, reaching the point where the condition could be detected via a plain lab test. A group of 11 other syndromes were partly resolved, whereas another 27 syndromes were linked to specific chromosomes. The remainder 22 syndromes are yet to be attributed to any genetic origin or chromosomal location. The new findings were featured March 27 in the journal Obesity Reviews. Meyre clarified several of the more frequent syndromes have been treated with hormone therapy, which proved effective in alleviating their symptoms. As he puts it, solving the genetics behind each syndrome would allow researchers to establish the most suitable course of treatment. One example is leptin, the "satiety hormone," whose genetic origin was discovered in 1990 and has greatly contributed to the subsequent comprehension of adipose cells. His research primarily targeted monogenic forms of obesity, in which the presence of a genetic mutation automatically triggers the onset of weight gain. In these extremely rare cases — which occur in just 0.5 percent of obese Canadians, literally one in a million — the syndromes provoke not only obesity, but "many additional clinical features, such as intellectual disability, facial and organ-specific abnormalities," detailed Meyre in a news release. His hope is that the study will enable medical professionals to identify these syndromes in their patients and provide appropriate treatments. Canadian statistics report nearly 20 percent of the population is obese, while in the United States obesity rates are even higher, at over 30 percent, with southern regions holding the record of America's fattest cities. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators at the University of British Columbia have created an innovative technique for studying how chlamydia interacts with the human immune system. Researchers used a combination of gene editing and stem cell technologies to make the model. The team identified two genes from our immune system, IRF5 and IL-10RA as key players in fighting a chlamydia infection. The results, reported today (25 April) in Nature Communications, identify novel drug targets for the sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK, with more than 200,000 cases each year in England alone. It is estimated that 131 million people globally are infected with chlamydia each year. Often called the 'silent disease', as it rarely produces symptoms early on, chlamydia causes genital infections which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility if left untreated. The increasing threat of antibiotic resistance led the World Health Organisation to issue new guidelines in 2016 for the treatment of chlamydia*. To develop new therapeutics for the infection, its interaction with our immune system must first be understood. In this study, scientists have created white blood cells, called macrophages, from human induced pluripotent stem cells to study chlamydia infection. Macrophages have a crucial role in killing chlamydia to limit the infection. The macrophages produced responded to the disease in a similar way to those taken from human blood, meaning they are more human-like than those produced by previous methods. This new model will enable scientists to study how chlamydia interacts with the human immune system to avoid antibiotics and spread. Dr Amy Yeung, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "Chlamydia is tricky to study because it can permeate and hide in macrophages where it is difficult to reach with antibiotics. Inside the macrophage, one or two chlamydia cells can replicate into hundreds in just a day or two, before bursting out to spread the infection. This new system will allow us to understand how chlamydia can survive and replicate in human macrophages and could have major implications for the development of new drugs." The new model has advantages over previous methods that used macrophages either derived from mice, which differ from humans in their immune response, or immortalised human macrophage cell lines, which are genetically different to normal macrophages. In the study, scientists used CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically edit the human induced pluripotent stem cells, and then see the effects of the genetic manipulation on the resulting macrophages' ability to fight infection. Dr Robert Hancock, lead author from the University of British Columbia and Associate Faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "We can knock out specific genes in stem cells and look at how the gene editing influences the resulting macrophages and their interaction with chlamydia. We're effectively sieving through the genome to find key players and can now easily see genes that weren't previously thought to be involved in fighting the infection." The team discovered two macrophage genes in particular that were key to limiting chlamydia infection: IRF5 and IL-10RA. When these genes were switched off, the macrophages were more susceptible to chlamydia infection. The results suggest these genes could be drug targets for new chlamydia treatments. Professor Gordon Dougan, senior author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said: "This system can be extended to study other pathogens and advance our understanding of the interactions between human hosts and infections. We are starting to unravel the role our genetics play in battling infections, such as chlamydia, and these results could go towards designing more effective treatments in the future."


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Less than a year after publishing research identifying a single genetic mutation that caused multiple sclerosis (MS) in two Canadian families, scientists at the University of British Columbia have found a combination of two other mutations in another family that made them highly susceptible to the disease. The "double gene" mutation was identified in a large Canadian family with five members diagnosed with MS - all of whom had the DNA abnormality. Two other family members had the same mutation but didn't develop MS, indicating that some other genetic or environmental conditions are still necessary to trigger the disease process. The discovery of this mutation, on top of last year's findings, should help erase doubts that at least some forms of MS are inherited. The prevailing view has been that a combination of many genetic variations causes a slight increase in susceptibility. In this family, individuals with the double gene mutation have about a 7-in-10 chance of developing MS, compared to a 1-in-1,000 risk in the general population. These mutations, described in the journal Human Mutation, impair both immune function and phagocytosis, the process by which cells eliminate debris and pathogens. "This is the first time that problems with phagocytosis have been linked to MS, and provides scientists with a better understanding the disease's origins and targets for developing new treatments," said lead author Carles Vilarino-Guell, an Assistant Professor of Medical Genetics who collaborated with colleagues at Australia's Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. The findings also could be used to screen people with a family history of the disease; an individual who was found to have this mutation could be a candidate for early diagnostic imaging long before symptoms appear, or could opt to reduce environmental risks by taking Vitamin D supplements or quitting smoking. MS results from the body's immune system attacking myelin, the fatty material that insulates neurons and enables rapid transmission of electrical signals. When myelin is damaged, communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted, leading to vision problems, muscle weakness, difficulty with balance and coordination, and cognitive impairments. Canada has one of the highest rate of MS in the world, for reasons that elude scientists. The double mutation, unlike the single mutation described last year, leads to the more typical "relapsing-remitting" form of MS, in which the symptoms come and go. These differences in clinical symptoms suggests that different biological processes are responsible for each type of MS, which could explain why treatments for relapsing-remitting patients are ineffective for people with more debilitating, progressive form of the disease. The family with this mutation had donated to a Canadian-wide collection of blood samples from people with MS, begun in 1993 by co-author A. Dessa Sadovnick, a UBC Professor of Medical Genetics and Neurology. The 20-year project, funded by the MS Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation, has samples from 4,400 people with MS, plus 8,600 blood relatives - one of the largest such biobanks in the world, stored at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health's Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES. Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (TSX:TDG) ("Trinidad" and "the Company") is pleased to announce changes to management roles. Adrian Lachance will assume the expanded role of Chief Operating Officer and Randy Hawkings will assume the new role of Executive Vice President, US Operations. "Adrian and Randy bring extensive experience in the oil and gas industry to their new positions," said Brent Conway, Trinidad's President and CEO. "Their continued contributions to managing our operations and assisting in the future direction of the Company will be invaluable as we guide Trinidad for success in the current improving conditions and through future industry cycles." Adrian has been with Trinidad for 14 years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, US and International. During his career with Trinidad, Adrian has held various senior positions within the Company, including responsibility for the Company's US and international operations, rig design and manufacturing, and corporate business development. Adrian was a key driver behind the Company's successful expansion in to the US in 2005, and continues to be an integral part of the innovative and unique rig designs that have built Trinidad's reputation as a high performance driller. Prior to joining Trinidad, Adrian was the owner of a private drilling company, Bear Drilling, which was acquired by Trinidad in 2003. Randy joined Trinidad in 2015 as Executive Vice President, Canadian Operations and Mexico following the acquisition of CanElson Drilling, where he held the position of President and CEO. In his new role, Randy will be responsible for running the Company's US operations. In addition, he will set up and manage Trinidad's performance drilling and technology integration initiatives. Randy holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and holds a Professional Engineer designation with the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicist of Alberta. Trinidad is a corporation focused on sustainable growth that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TDG. Trinidad's divisions currently operate in the drilling sector of the oil and natural gas industry, with operations in Canada, the United States and internationally. In addition, through joint venture arrangements, Trinidad operates drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia and Mexico, and is currently assessing operations in other international markets. Trinidad is focused on providing modern, reliable, expertly designed equipment operated by well-trained and experienced personnel. Trinidad's drilling fleet is one of the most adaptable, technologically advanced and competitive in the industry.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Methane-making microbes may have battled “rust-breathing” microbes for dominance in early Earth’s oceans—and kept those oceans from freezing under an ancient, dimmer sun in the process, new research suggests. For much of its first two billion years, Earth was a very different place: oxygen was scarce, microbial life ruled, and the sun was significantly dimmer than it is today. Yet the rock record shows that vast seas covered much of the early Earth under the faint young sun. Scientists have long debated what kept those seas from freezing. A popular theory is that potent gases such as methane—with many times more warming power than carbon dioxide—created a thicker greenhouse atmosphere than required to keep water liquid today. In the absence of oxygen, iron built up in ancient oceans. Under the right chemical and biological processes, this iron rusted out of seawater and cycled many times through a complex loop, or “ferrous wheel.” Some microbes could “breathe” this rust in order to outcompete others, such as those that made methane. When rust was plentiful, an “iron curtain” may have suppressed methane emissions. “The ancestors of modern methane-making and rust-breathing microbes may have long battled for dominance in habitats largely governed by iron chemistry,” says Marcus Bray, a biology doctoral candidate in the laboratory of Jennifer Glass, assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Using mud pulled from the bottom of a tropical lake, the researchers gained a new grasp of how ancient microbes made methane despite this “iron curtain.” Collaborator Sean Crowe, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, collected mud from the depths of Indonesia’s Lake Matano, an anoxic iron-rich ecosystem that uniquely mimics early oceans. Bray placed the mud into tiny incubators simulating early Earth conditions, and tracked microbial diversity and methane emissions over a period of 500 days. Minimal methane was formed when rust was added; without rust, microbes kept making methane through multiple dilutions. Extrapolating these findings to the past, the team concluded that methane production could have persisted in rust-free patches of ancient seas. Unlike the situation in today’s well-aerated oceans, where most natural gas produced on the seafloor is consumed before it can reach the surface, most of this ancient methane would have escaped to the atmosphere to trap heat from the early sun. Glass was principal investigator of the study in Geobiology. Additional members of the research team are from Georgia Tech, the University of British Columbia, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, and the University of Kansas. A grant from NASA Exobiology funded the work. The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations and the NASA Astrobiology Institute also provided support. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring organizations.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: scienceblogs.com

Highlights from today’s sessions included: Norelia Ordonez-Castillo, undergraduate student from Fort Hays State University, presented her research on channel catfish. According to Norelia, these fish can become obese so her research was geared towards trying to find out how their receptor for LDL cholesterol differs from rodents and humans. But what I want to know is whether the obese catfish tastes better… Image of channel catfish by Ryan Somma via Wikimedia Commons Christine Schwartz, Investigator from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, studied how the brain of hibernating animals is protected from damage induced by rapid changes in temperature. She found that the extracellular matrix of the brain helps protect it during hibernation. Goggy Davidowitz, Investigator from the University of Arizona, studies Carolina sphinx moths (Manduca sexta: Sphingidae). Goggy’s research showed that male and female moths utilize amino acids differently. Male moths allocate more ingested sugars to building muscle than females, which suggests that males may need to maintain larger flight muscles to seek out females. William Milsom, Investigator from the University of British Columbia, spoke about special adaptations in high altitude geese that allow them to thrive in their low oxygen environment. Andean geese live at high altitude year round and have adapted the ability to extract oxygen from the air more efficiently than birds living at low altitude. Their hearts are also able to contract better and thus squeeze out more blood with each heart beat. In contrast, bar-headed geese, which migrate over the Himalayas, use a different strategy. They have adapted by increasing their heart rate and improving their ability to get oxygen into tissues of the body at high altitude. The annual banquet and dinner meeting took place Monday night. It was such a delight seeing all of the award winners. More on that later…


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators at the University of British Columbia have created an innovative technique for studying how chlamydia interacts with the human immune system. Researchers used a combination of gene editing and stem cell technologies to make the model. The team identified two genes from our immune system, IRF5 and IL-10RA as key players in fighting a chlamydia infection. The results, reported today (25 April) in Nature Communications, identify novel drug targets for the sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK, with more than 200,000 cases each year in England alone. It is estimated that 131 million people globally are infected with chlamydia each year. Often called the 'silent disease', as it rarely produces symptoms early on, chlamydia causes genital infections which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility if left untreated. The increasing threat of antibiotic resistance led the World Health Organisation to issue new guidelines in 2016 for the treatment of chlamydia*. To develop new therapeutics for the infection, its interaction with our immune system must first be understood. In this study, scientists have created white blood cells, called macrophages, from human induced pluripotent stem cells to study chlamydia infection. Macrophages have a crucial role in killing chlamydia to limit the infection. The macrophages produced responded to the disease in a similar way to those taken from human blood, meaning they are more human-like than those produced by previous methods. This new model will enable scientists to study how chlamydia interacts with the human immune system to avoid antibiotics and spread. Dr Amy Yeung, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "Chlamydia is tricky to study because it can permeate and hide in macrophages where it is difficult to reach with antibiotics. Inside the macrophage, one or two chlamydia cells can replicate into hundreds in just a day or two, before bursting out to spread the infection. This new system will allow us to understand how chlamydia can survive and replicate in human macrophages and could have major implications for the development of new drugs." The new model has advantages over previous methods that used macrophages either derived from mice, which differ from humans in their immune response, or immortalised human macrophage cell lines, which are genetically different to normal macrophages. In the study, scientists used CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically edit the human induced pluripotent stem cells, and then see the effects of the genetic manipulation on the resulting macrophages' ability to fight infection. Dr Robert Hancock, lead author from the University of British Columbia and Associate Faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "We can knock out specific genes in stem cells and look at how the gene editing influences the resulting macrophages and their interaction with chlamydia. We're effectively sieving through the genome to find key players and can now easily see genes that weren't previously thought to be involved in fighting the infection." The team discovered two macrophage genes in particular that were key to limiting chlamydia infection: IRF5 and IL-10RA. When these genes were switched off, the macrophages were more susceptible to chlamydia infection. The results suggest these genes could be drug targets for new chlamydia treatments. Professor Gordon Dougan, senior author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said: "This system can be extended to study other pathogens and advance our understanding of the interactions between human hosts and infections. We are starting to unravel the role our genetics play in battling infections, such as chlamydia, and these results could go towards designing more effective treatments in the future."


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The pathologies (damage) in the brain that stroke, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological conditions cause in older adults only partially explain the memory loss, reduced reasoning ability and other cognitive impairments that result from these conditions. Little is known about why the effects of brain pathology vary between people who develop it. Now researchers have discovered two genes, known as UNC5C and ENC1, that are associated with aging individuals having better memory and brain function than would be expected, given the amount of pathologies that accumulated in their brains. They reported their findings in an article published in the journal PLOS Medicine on April 24. "Most of the cognitive loss that we experience in older age remains unexplained. Certain individuals are very resistant to the pathologies of the aging brain, while others may be particularly vulnerable," says study senior investigator David Bennett, MD, who directs the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. These potentially damaging pathologies include the buildup of harmful proteins known as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that occur in Alzheimer's disease; the protein deposits known as Lewy bodies that accompany Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia; and the death of massive amounts of brain cells caused by stroke. Identifying genes that contribute to resistance to these and other brain pathologies could provide researchers with new targets for developing medications that would enhance the brains of aging adults to resist Alzheimer's disease and other neurological conditions, Bennett says. The researchers drew on a vast trove of data, including genetic analyses, generated by two ongoing long-term studies of aging based at Rush University Medical Center, which includes study participants' donation of their brains for research after their death. These participants were tested annually to measure their cognitive function, allowing for a comparison of the decrease in cognitive function with the development of any pathology found when their brains were autopsied after their deaths. Using this information for 979 participants, the researchers assessed how much each person's thinking ability withstood the development of memory loss despite the accumulation of brain pathology - in other words, how resilient they were to pathology. Then they conducted a complex, multiple step analysis "to identify segments of the human genome (i.e, genes) that help us to maintain cognitive function in the face of advancing age and disease," explains study senior investigator Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center. The innovative approach combined an analysis of the human genome - the complete set of genes in a person -- with an evaluation of the epigenome -- changes to DNA that helps determine which genes can be "read" so its protein is made. Epigenome in part reflects how our brain responds to life experiences and exposures to environmental factors. The analysis identified UNC5C and ENC1 as being associated with cognitive resilience. In addition, the researchers found that TMEM106B -- a gene whose presence previously had been identified as possibly protecting against age-related frontotemporal lobar degeneration -- also may play a role in brain resilience. "These genes should be studied further to expand our understanding of molecular mechanisms relevant to cognitive resilience that could be translated into prognostic and therapeutic tools for dementia prevention," the researchers write in the paper's summary. The PLOS Medicine article presenting the study's findings is titled "Identification of genes associated with dissociation of cognitive performance and neuropathological burden: Multistep analysis of genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptional data." The study included researchers at Rush University Medical Center, the Broad Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Columbia University Medical Center, The Illinois Institute of Technology, the T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of British Columbia. The work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging. The investigators are indebted to the study participants.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

"Both flax and hemp are widely available in Canada, especially in the West," said Sam-Brew, a recent PhD graduate from the University of British Columbia's faculty of forestry. "It's worth considering their viability as alternative raw materials to wood for particleboard production." Particleboards are used in products like countertops, shelves and flat-packed furniture. For her PhD, supervised by professor Gregory Smith, Sam-Brew evaluated the characteristics of flax and hemp residues. She determined their physical and mechanical board properties by soaking and breaking hundreds of particleboards to test their strength and durability. While Sam-Brew found flax and hemp residues were technically better, she hit one snag. The current economics of manufacturing flax and hemp particleboards in Canada are too high for it to flourish as a competitive material. "The resin, or glue, needed to produce flax and hemp particleboard is a financial barrier," she said. Resin holds the particles in the board together and flax and hemp products use expensive resin, called pMDI, as the substitute for cheap urea-formaldehyde. Sam-Brew was able to show in her PhD research that the amount of resin needed for flax and hemp particleboards could be reduced, which would help lower the cost. Substituting lignin, a plant binder, for a portion of the pMDI resin, could also reduce the cost. According to Sam-Brew, a burgeoning niche market for flax and hemp particleboards exists in Europe. Decades of flax and hemp processing there and the number of companies in business have led to more competitive pricing. Sam-Brew said the business case for a similar industry in Canada lies in a facility willing to take a chance on the sustainable alternative considering the growing competition for wood residue. Wood residue is wood waste from sawmills and joinery manufacturers, like wood chips, shavings, sawdust and trims, all highly sought after for use by multiple industries, including biofuel, pellet, pulp and paper. "They're all fighting over one resource, which can sometimes be in short supply," said Sam-Brew. "If a company has to travel long distances to collect the wood waste they need to make their products, that costs them money. The particleboard industry could benefit from using non-wood resources if the price is right." For now, flax and hemp particleboard production is at a standstill in Canada. But Sam-Brew remains optimistic. "Flax and hemp particleboards are lighter than wood," she said. "The downstream impacts of making a lighter product could mean faster production rates and significant energy and transportation savings." "The economics don't look good now, but they could later." Explore further: Research aims to help Canadian flax farmers


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

A warming climate has melted northern Canada’s Kaskawulsh Glacier so much that the glacier’s “retreat” has changed the course of a nearby river, new research shows. Last spring, the glacier’s retreat triggered the geologic event at relatively breakneck speed. The toe of ice that was sending meltwater toward the Slims River and then north to the Bering Sea retreated so far that the water changed course, joining the Kaskawulsh River and flowing south toward the Gulf of Alaska. This capture of one river’s flow by another, documented in a study published in Nature Geoscience, is the first known case of “river piracy” in modern times. “Geologists have seen river piracy, but nobody to our knowledge has documented it happening in our lifetimes,” says lead author Dan Shugar, a geoscientist at the University of Washington. “People had looked at the geological record—thousands or millions of years ago—not the 21st century, where it’s happening under our noses.” River piracy, also known as stream capture, can happen due to tectonic motion of Earth’s crust, landslides, erosion or, in this case, a change in a glacial dam. The new study documents one of the less-anticipated shifts that can occur in a changing climate. Shugar and coauthors Jim Best at the University of Illinois and John Clague at Canada’s Simon Fraser University had planned fieldwork last summer on the Slims River, a geologically active system that feeds Kluane Lake in the Yukon. When they arrived in August, the river was not flowing. River gauges show an abrupt drop over four days from May 26 to 29, 2016. By late summer, “there was barely any flow whatsoever. It was essentially a long, skinny lake,” Shugar says. “The water was somewhat treacherous to approach, because you’re walking on these old river sediments that were really goopy and would suck you in. And day by day we could see the water level dropping.” The research team puzzled about what to do next. They got permission to use their mapping drone to create a detailed elevation model of the glacier tongue and headwater region. The resulting paper is a geological postmortem of the river’s disappearance. “For the last 300 years, Slims River flowed out to the Bering Sea, and the smaller Kaskawulsh River flowed to the Gulf of Alaska. What we found was the glacial lake that fed Slims River had actually changed its outlet,” Shugar says. “A 30-meter (100-foot) canyon had been carved through the terminus of the glacier,” he continues. “Meltwater was flowing through that canyon from one lake into another glacial lake, almost like when you see champagne poured into glasses that are stacked in a pyramid.” That second lake drains via the Kaskawulsh River in a different direction than the first. The situation is fairly unique, Shugar says, since the glacier’s toe was sitting on a geologic divide. Clague began studying this glacier years ago for the Geological Survey of Canada. He observed that Kluane Lake, which is Yukon’s largest lake, had changed its water level by about 40 feet (12 meters) a few centuries ago. He concluded that the Slims River that feeds it had appeared as the glacier advanced, and a decade ago predicted the river would disappear again as the glacier retreated. “The event is a bit idiosyncratic, given the peculiar geographic situation in which it happened, but in a broader sense it highlights the huge changes that glaciers are undergoing around the world due to climate change,” Clague says. The geologic event has redrawn the local landscape. Slims River crosses the Alaska Highway, and its banks were a popular hiking route. Now that the riverbed is exposed, Dall sheep from Kluane National Park are making their way down to eat the fresh vegetation, venturing into territory where they can legally be hunted. With less water flowing in, Kluane Lake did not refill last spring, and by summer 2016 was about 3 feet (1 meter) lower than ever recorded for that time of year. Waterfront land, which includes the small communities of Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay, is now farther from shore. As the lake level continues to drop researchers expect this will become an isolated lake cut off from any outflow. On the other hand, the Alsek River, a popular whitewater rafting river that is a UNESCO world heritage site, was running higher last summer due to the addition of the Slims River’s water. Shifts in sediment transport, lake chemistry, fish populations, wildlife behavior, and other factors will continue to occur as the ecosystem adjusts to the new reality, Shugar says. “So far, a lot of the scientific work surrounding glaciers and climate change has been focused on sea-level rise,” Shugar says. “Our study shows there may be other underappreciated, unanticipated effects of glacial retreat.” The Kaskawulsh Glacier is retreating up the valley because of both readjustment after a cold period centuries ago, known as the Little Ice Age, and warming due to greenhouse gases. A technique published in 2016 by coauthor Gerard Roe shows a 99.5 percent probability that this glacier’s retreat is showing the effects of modern climate change. “I always point out to climate-change skeptics that Earth’s glaciers are becoming markedly smaller, and that can only happen in a warming climate,” Clague says. Other coauthors are from the University of British Columbia, the University of Colorado, and the University of Ottawa. The University of Washington Royalty Research Fund, Parks Canada, Yukon Geological Survey, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Illinois funded the research.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: phys.org

Such was the intent behind a new study by a team of researchers from Sao Paulo, Brazil. In essence, they consider how the Unruh effect could be confirmed using a simple experiment that relies on existing technology. Not only would this experiment prove once and for all if the Unruh effect is real, it could also help us plan for the day when interstellar travel becomes a reality. To put it in layman's terms, Einstein's Theory of Relativity states that time and space are dependent upon the inertial reference frame of the observer. Consistent with this is the theory that if an observer is traveling at a constant speed through empty vacuum, they will find that the temperature of said vacuum is absolute zero. But if they were to begin to accelerate, the temperature of the empty space would become hotter. This is what William Unruh – a theorist from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver – asserted in 1976. According to his theory, an observer accelerating through space would be subject to a "thermal bath" – i.e. photons and other particles – which would intensify the more they accelerated. Unfortunately, no one has ever been able to measure this effect, since no spacecraft exists that can achieve the kind of speeds necessary. For the sake of their study – which was recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters under the title "Virtual observation of the Unruh effect" – the research team proposed a simple experiment to test for the Unruh effect. Led by Gabriel Cozzella of the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT) at Sao Paulo State University, they claim that this experiment would settle the issue by measuring an already-understood electromagnetic phenomenon. Essentially, they argue that it would be possible to detect the Unruh effect by measuring what is known as Larmor radiation. This refers to the electromagnetic energy that is radiated away from charged particles (such as electrons, protons or ions) when they accelerate. As they state in their study: "A more promising strategy consists of seeking for fingerprints of the Unruh effect in the radiation emitted by accelerated charges. Accelerated charges should back react due to radiation emission, quivering accordingly. Such a quivering would be naturally interpreted by Rindler observers as a consequence of the charge interaction with the photons of the Unruh thermal bath." As they describe in their paper, this would consist of monitoring the light emitted by electrons within two separate reference frames. In the first, known as the "accelerating frame", electrons are fired laterally across a magnetic field, which would cause the electrons to move in a circular pattern. In the second, the "laboratory frame", a vertical field is applied to accelerate the electrons upwards, causing them to follow a corkscrew-like path. In the accelerating frame, Cozzella and his colleagues assume that the electrons would encounter the "fog of photons", where they both radiate and emit them. In the laboratory frame, the electrons would heat up once vertical acceleration was applied, causing them to show an excess of long-wavelength photons. However, this would be dependent on the "fog" existing in the accelerated frame to begin with. In short, this experiment offers a simple test which could determine whether or not the Unruh effect exists, which is something that has been in dispute ever since it was proposed. One of the beauties of the proposed experiment is that it could be conducted using particle accelerators and electromagnets that are currently available. On the other side of the debate are those who claim that the Unruh effect is due to a mathematical error made by Unruh and his colleagues. For those individuals, this experiment is useful because it would effectively debunk this theory. Regardless, Cozzella and his team are confident their proposed experiment will yield positive results. "We have proposed a simple experiment where the presence of the Unruh thermal bath is codified in the Larmor radiation emitted from an accelerated charge," they state. "Then, we carried out a straightforward classical-electrodynamics calculation (checked by a quantum-field-theory one) to confirm it by ourselves. Unless one challenges classical electrodynamics, our results must be virtually considered as an observation of the Unruh effect." If the experiments should prove successful, and the Unruh effect is proven to exist, it would certainly have consequences for any future deep-space missions that rely on advanced propulsion systems. Between Project Starshot, and any proposed mission that would involve sending a crew to another star system, the added effects of a "fog of photons" and a "thermal bath" will need to be factored in. Explore further: Chinese scientists realize quantum simulation of the Unruh effect More information: Virtual observation of the Unruh effect. arxiv.org/abs/1701.03446


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

IMAGE:  A close-up view of the ice-walled canyon at the terminus of the Kaskawulsh Glacier, with recently collapsed ice blocks. This canyon now carries almost all meltwater from the toe of... view more The massive Kaskawulsh Glacier in northern Canada has retreated about a mile up its valley over the past century. Last spring, its retreat triggered a geologic event at relatively breakneck speed. The toe of ice that was sending meltwater toward the Slims River and then north to the Bering Sea retreated so far that the water changed course, joining the Kaskawulsh River and flowing south toward the Gulf of Alaska. This capture of one river's flow by another, documented in a study led by the University of Washington Tacoma and published April 17 in Nature Geoscience, is the first known case of "river piracy" in modern times. "Geologists have seen river piracy, but nobody to our knowledge has documented it happening in our lifetimes," said lead author Dan Shugar, a geoscientist at the University of Washington Tacoma. "People had looked at the geological record -- thousands or millions of years ago -- not the 21st century, where it's happening under our noses." River piracy, also known as stream capture, can happen due to tectonic motion of Earth's crust, landslides, erosion or, in this case, changes in a glacial dam. The new study documents one of the less-anticipated shifts that can occur in a changing climate. Shugar and co-authors Jim Best at the University of Illinois and John Clague at Canada's Simon Fraser University had planned fieldwork last summer on the Slims River, a geologically active system that feeds Kluane Lake in the Yukon. When they arrived in August, the river was not flowing. River gauges show an abrupt drop over four days from May 26 to 29, 2016. By late summer, "there was barely any flow whatsoever. It was essentially a long, skinny lake," Shugar said. "The water was somewhat treacherous to approach, because you're walking on these old river sediments that were really goopy and would suck you in. And day by day we could see the water level dropping." The research team puzzled about what to do next. They got permission to use their mapping drone to create a detailed elevation model of the glacier tongue and headwater region. The resulting paper is a geological postmortem of the river's disappearance. "For the last 300 years, Slims River flowed out to the Bering Sea, and the smaller Kaskawulsh River flowed to the Gulf of Alaska. What we found was the glacial lake that fed Slims River had actually changed its outlet," Shugar said. "A 30-meter (100-foot) canyon had been carved through the terminus of the glacier. Meltwater was flowing through that canyon from one lake into another glacial lake, almost like when you see champagne poured into glasses that are stacked in a pyramid." That second lake drains via the Kaskawulsh River in a different direction than the first. The situation is fairly unique, Shugar said, since the glacier's toe was sitting on a geologic divide. Clague began studying this glacier years ago for the Geological Survey of Canada. He observed that Kluane Lake, which is Yukon's largest lake, had changed its water level by about 40 feet (12 meters) a few centuries ago. He concluded that the Slims River that feeds it had appeared as the glacier advanced, and a decade ago predicted the river would disappear again as the glacier retreated. "The event is a bit idiosyncratic, given the peculiar geographic situation in which it happened, but in a broader sense it highlights the huge changes that glaciers are undergoing around the world due to climate change," Clague said. The geologic event has redrawn the local landscape. Slims River crosses the Alaska Highway, and its banks were a popular hiking route. Now that the riverbed is exposed, Dall sheep from Kluane National Park are making their way down to eat the fresh vegetation, venturing into territory where they can legally be hunted. With less water flowing in, Kluane Lake did not refill last spring, and by summer 2016 was about 3 feet (1 meter) lower than ever recorded for that time of year. Waterfront land, which includes the small communities of Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay, is now farther from shore. As the lake level continues to drop researchers expect this will become an isolated lake cut off from any outflow. On the other hand, the Alsek River, a popular whitewater rafting river that is a UNESCO world heritage site, was running higher last summer due to the addition of the Slims River's water. Shifts in sediment transport, lake chemistry, fish populations, wildlife behavior and other factors will continue to occur as the ecosystem adjusts to the new reality, Shugar said. "So far, a lot of the scientific work surrounding glaciers and climate change has been focused on sea-level rise," Shugar said. "Our study shows there may be other underappreciated, unanticipated effects of glacial retreat." The Kaskawulsh Glacier is retreating up the valley because of both readjustment after a cold period centuries ago, known as the Little Ice Age, and warming due to greenhouse gases. A technique published in 2016 by UW co-author Gerard Roe shows a 99.5 percent probability that this glacier's retreat is showing the effects of modern climate change. "I always point out to climate-change skeptics that Earth's glaciers are becoming markedly smaller, and that can only happen in a warming climate," Clague said. Other co-authors are Christian Schoof at the University of British Columbia, Michael Willis at the University of Colorado and Luke Copland at the University of Ottawa. The study was funded by the University of Washington Royalty Research Fund, Parks Canada, Yukon Geological Survey, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the University of Ottawa and the University of Illinois. For more information, contact Shugar at dshugar@uw.edu or 253-692-4926 or Clague at jclague@sfu.ca or 778-782-4924.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Only a decade ago, most scientists thought the gut was responsible for digestion. That was the beginning and end of the story. Turns out, there's much more to the tale. "We now know there are trillions of microorganisms in the large and small intestines, and 90 percent of our immune system is in the gut," says Dr. David A. Hafler, professor of neurology and immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine. "Because multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, a chronic condition in which the body abnormally attacks parts of its own nervous system, scientists are looking into the role of bacteria in our guts ( microbiome) and how it might influence MS." "In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body. Eventually, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged," the Mayo Clinic website states. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, vision problems, difficulty walking, muscle weakness, stiffness and spasms, and bladder and bowel problems. Not all 400,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with MS have the same symptoms, but researchers are finding they share one thing in common: different kinds of bacteria in their guts than people who don't have MS. Specifically, a 2014 study in the journal Neurology conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston showed that patients with MS have more archaea (a microbe that triggers inflammation) and less butyricimonas (a microbe with anti-inflammatory properties) than people who don't have MS. Although researchers can't confirm the microbiome is linked to autoimmune diseases, mounting evidence is pointing in that direction. These findings can have broad implications. "Since gut bacteria influences inflammation and the immune system, MS isn't the only autoimmune disease that's affected by the amount or the type of bacteria in the gut," explains Dr. Augusto Miravalle, associate professor of neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. "Other autoimmune illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, colitis and asthma are also affected by bacterial balance." But Hafler points out that this isn't the whole picture, either. "There are a number of other factors at work when it comes to the gut connection. We know that MS is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic influences. In order for gut bacteria to be a trigger, a person would also need a genetic predisposition to developing an autoimmune disease such as MS." The genetic component may be why the link between the gut and autoimmune attacks in MS begin early in life. A 2016 University of British Columbia study, reported in the journal BioMed Central, examined gut bacteria and immune markers in 15 children with MS and nine children without the disease. The researchers found certain types of gut bacteria and specific immune markers in the children with MS and not with the healthy children. [See: 11 Ways Rural Life Is Hazardous to Your Health.] Scientists have also discovered geography is in play when it comes to gut bacteria and multiple sclerosis. "For example, MS sufferers living in California have a different microbiome than patients living in New York," Miravalle says. "But that might be associated with the amount of sunlight and vitamin D. We still don't know." Still, the geographic-gut bacteria-MS connection appears so promising, the National MS society has funded the MS Microbiome Consortium, which brings microbiome and geographical data together in order to explore the relationship. Another gut factor influencing the development and frequency of relapse in MS appears to be salt intake. "There have been a few reports showing that salt can hasten MS-like disease by influencing the microbiome and autoimmune reaction,"Miravalle says, pointing to a study of 16 people published in the August 2014 Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. The study showed that people with MS who had higher sodium intake were at approximately three times higher risk for an increase in symptoms as well as disease activity, compared with those with lower sodium intake. Even though diets high in salt have been associated with high relapse rate in adults, this link has not been found in pediatric MS. However, high fat intake has been associated with increased relapse in children with multiple sclerosis, according to research presented at the 32nd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS. A microbiome theory that affects both pediatric and adult MS is intestinal permeability, more commonly known as "leaky gut syndrome." The connection has been gaining steam in the MS research community for the past several years. "Leaky gut is a condition that allows harmful substances like toxins, microbes and waste to pass out of the intestines and into the body cavity," Hafler explains. In a 2014 study published in PLOS ONE, researchers at Lund University in Sweden found a link between increased permeability of the intestines and MS, but only in a lab setting. The scientists looked at intestinal tissue from mice infected with an MS-like disease and found not only was leaky gut involved, but there was also increased inflammation in the intestinal mucous membranes of the mice even before they showed symptoms of MS. "Inflammation plays a role in MS, as inflammatory T-cells attack the protective myelin coating of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord," Miravalle explains. [See: 5 Rare Diseases You've Never Heard of (Until Now).] For now, most of the research into gut bacteria and MS is still in a comparatively early stage, and for the most part, human studies are focusing on describing the microbiome of MS patients. "While these studies show a link,"Hafler says, "we still don't know if the bacteria are different because of MS or if the changes in types of bacteria can cause MS or contribute to relapses." Robin Westen is a freelance Health reporter at U.S. News. She's an award-winning journalist who has written for numerous national magazines, including AARP, Family Circle, Psychology Today, MORE, Health, Self, Parents, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, in addition to others. She has authored more than a dozen books on health and relationships, including "The Yoga-Body Cleanse," "The Complete A to Z for Your V," "Ten Days to Detox" and "808 Conversation Starters for Couples," among others. Westen also won an Emmy for her writing on the ABC show "FYI."


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

(University of British Columbia) Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are not in better environmental shape than the rest of the world.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Banning transshipment at-sea -- the transfer of fish and supplies from one vessel to another in open waters--is necessary to diminish illegal fishing, a team of researchers has concluded after an analysis of existing maritime regulations. "This practice often occurs on the high seas and beyond the reach of any nation's jurisdiction, allowing ships fishing illegally to evade most monitoring and enforcement measures, offload their cargo, and resume fishing without returning to port," explains Jennifer Jacquet, an assistant professor in New York University's Department of Environmental Studies and one of the paper's co-authors. "It's one way that illegal fish are laundered into the seafood market." "More significantly, transshipment at-sea can facilitate trafficking and exploitation of workers who are trapped and abused on fishing vessels because there is simply no authority present to protect those being exploited," adds Chris Ewell, an NYU undergraduate at the time of the study and the paper's lead author. The paper, which appears in the journal Marine Policy, may be downloaded here: http://bit. . In their study, the researchers focused on the regulation of transshipment, which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines as the "act of transferring the catch from one fishing vessel to either another fishing vessel or to a vessel used solely for the carriage of cargo." Specifically, they examined transshipment at-sea regulations across 17 Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs)--multi-national entities responsible for regulating fisheries on the high seas--to create a "scorecard" on the permissibility of this practice around the globe. The researchers note that transshipment at-sea regulations have become increasingly strict in most RFMOs since the late 1990s. However, in 2015, the year of study, only five RFMOs had mandated even a partial ban and only one RFMO, the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO), has mandated a total ban on transshipment at-sea. "A total ban on transshipment at-sea on the high seas would support the ability of oversight and enforcement agencies to detect and prevent illegal fishing and also likely reduce human trafficking and forced labor on the high seas," the study's authors recommend. The study's other authors included Mikaela Ediger, a fellow at NYU School of Law's Institute for International Justice and Law, Dana Miller, currently a marine scientist at Oceana and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia at the time of the study, and John Hocevar, oceans campaign director at Greenpeace USA. The research was supported, in part, by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as by an undergraduate research grant from NYU.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CALGARY, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Canadian Investor Relations Institute ("CIRI") Alberta Chapter is pleased to report that, at its annual meeting of shareholders held on May 2, 2017, 12 nominees were elected as Executives of the Chapter with Helen Kelly appointed as the new Chair. Helen is Director, Investor Relations for MEG Energy Corp. and has served on the CIRI Alberta Executive since 2012, having been in the role of Treasurer for the last two years. Helen possesses more than 10 years of experience in the oil and gas sector in Calgary. She joined MEG Energy as Director, Investor Relations in 2011. Prior to that, Helen worked for Suncor Energy as a planning analyst in the company’s growing in-situ oil sands business before taking on the role of Manager of Investor Relations in 2009. Her previous experience also includes equity research at UBS, in addition to progressive roles in treasury, operations, merger-integration and business development at the Asian headquarters of a UK-based conglomerate. Helen holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. The following individuals were elected to serve as Executives of CIRI Alberta at the annual general meeting: Together, the newly elected CIRI Alberta Executive looks forward to engaging with its fellow members and to delivering more valuable networking and educational events in the coming year. On behalf of CIRI Alberta, the Executive would like to thank the following Executives that are stepping down this year: Alison Trollope, CPIR, Director Communications & Investor Education, Alberta Securities Commission; Graham Ingram, Manager, Investor Relations, Cenovus Energy, Randy Mah, CPIR, Senior Manager, Investor Relations, Capital Power Corporation, and Chair Jess Nieukerk, Senior Director, Investor Relations, AltaGas Ltd. Thank you for your hard work and contributions to a vibrant IR community in Alberta. CIRI is a professional, not-for-profit association of executives responsible for communication between public corporations, investors and the financial community. CIRI contributes to the transparency and integrity of the Canadian capital markets by advancing the practice of investor relations, the professional competency of its members and the stature of the profession. With close to 500 members and four Chapters across the country, CIRI is the voice of IR in Canada. For further information, please visit CIRI.org.


The invention provides a method of preparing a metal / metal oxide material. In one aspect, a nanostructure is provided, the nanostructure comprising a first metal to form the metal oxide, and a reaction surface with a reducing agent on the reaction surface. A second metal is deposited onto the reaction surface to form a bimetallic product. The bimetallic product is calcined to form the metal / metal oxide material.


Patent
University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation | Date: 2017-02-22

A method is for estimating a three-dimensional (3D) representation of a set of two-dimensional (2D) curves of a concept drawing, the estimate of the 3D representation corresponding to a 3D object underlying the concept drawing. The method comprises: obtaining a representation of a set of 2D curves a concept drawing that represent a 3D object underlying the concept drawing; determining an energy function based on the set of 2D curves, the energy function comprising one or more terms, each term reflective of a preference for a 3D representation based on a characteristic of the 2D curves which reflects how concept drawings are commonly perceived to represent 3D objects; and performing an optimization which minimizes the energy function to thereby determine the 3D representation.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 03, 2017) - Golden Dawn Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE: GOM) ( : 3G8A) ( : GDMRF) (the "Company" or "Golden Dawn") announces that it has entered into arrangements with certain parties for the provision of investor relations services to the Company. On January 3, 2014, the Company entered into a written agreement with Mike Poulin for the provision of investor relations services to the Company. Mr. Poulin obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree from the University of British Columbia in 1991 and he completed the Canadian Securities Course in 1993. Mr. Poulin has been engaged in corporate communications/investor relations with reporting issuers for over seven years. Mr. Poulin has been working to raise awareness of the Company. The term of the agreement was for a period of six months and has been extended by agreement between the Company and Mr. Poulin. Mr. Poulin is paid $2,500 per month and has been granted 200,000 stock options at an exercise price of $0.18 on April 1, 2015, 50,000 options at an exercise price of $0.15 on February 4, 2016 and 25,000 options at an exercise price of $0.30 on October 28, 2016 (this grant is still vesting at 25% every three months). Unexercised options expire on the earlier of five years after the date of grant and 30 days after ceasing to be a consultant for the Company. Mr. Poulin holds 161,500 shares common shares in the capital of the Company. In November, 2015, the Company entered into a written agreement with Fidel Thomas for the provision of investor relations services to the Company. Mr. Thomas obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) degree from the University of East London in 1994 and a Mining Professional Development Course from the University of British Columbia in 2007. Mr. Thomas has worked in the area of corporate communications since 2002 and has acted for several reporting issuers engaged in mineral exploration. The term of the agreement was for a period of six months and has been extended by agreement between the Company and Mr. Thomas. Mr. Thomas is paid $2,500 per month and has been granted 100,000 incentive stock options at an exercise price of $0.15 per share on February 4, 2016 and 200,000 options at an exercise price of $0.30 per share on October 28, 2016 (this grant is still vesting at 25% every three months). Unexercised options expire on the earlier of five years after the date of grant and 30 days after ceasing to be a consultant for the Company. Mr. Thomas currently holds 200,000 common shares of the Company. On July 11, 2016, the Company entered into a written agreement with Zimtu Capital Corp. ("Zimtu") for the provision of investor relations services to the Company. Zimtu is a publicly held investment issuer and company builder focused on private, micro- and small-cap resource companies located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company engaged Zimtu to provide the following services to the Company: (i) Coordinate the Company's participation in tradeshows and roadshows on a cost sharing basis; (ii) Ensure booth and other representation for the Company at tradeshows and roadshows; (iv) Arrange meetings and other planning events; and (v) Such other services as are requested by the Company and agreed to be provided by Zimtu. The term of this engagement was for a fixed period of twelve months commencing on the engagement. The agreement does not provide for an ongoing engagement after the end of the term. Zimtu is paid $5,000 per month (plus GST)(totaling $63,000 and paid in advance). This agreement terminates in July 2017. Zimtu subscribed for securities of the Company in 2016. The Company is not aware whether Zimtu currently hold an interest in the Company's securities. On June 20th, 2016, the Company engaged Zacks Investment Research for the distribution of the Zacks Small Cap Research Report and other non-financial services. In consideration of the services to be provided, the Company agreed to pay a service fee of US $25,000 for a 12 month engagement. The Company has revoked its engagement of Zacks. About Golden Dawn Minerals Golden Dawn Minerals Inc. is now one of the largest land owners in the Greenwood Mining district, located in South Central B.C. In the last year, Golden Dawn Minerals has strategically acquired a permitted mine and mill complex -- the Greenwood Gold project -- and Kettle River Resources Ltd, which holds a large land package with numerous mineral deposits. The key component is the modern 200 tpd (expandable to 400) gravity-flotation mill and tailings facility. This mill was constructed in 2007 and produced gold and gold-copper concentrate in 2008 from the Lexington and Golden Crown mines, also included in the acquisition. A positive Preliminary Economic Analysis, based on N.I. 43-101 compliant resources in various categories, was completed last year for this project. The Kettle River Resource acquisition includes 11,000 ha. of mineral claims covering 32 historic mines and 46 mineral showings, all located within a radius of 15 km of the mill. Included in this package is the historic Phoenix mine, which produced nearly 1 million ounces of gold and 235,700 tonnes of copper from 1900-1919 and 1956-1978. Also, the Company's 100% owned May - Mac Mine, 15 km to the West of the company's mill, is currently subject to an intensive underground and surface drilling program exploring the known silver-gold veins. The company is optimistic that it will delineate a mineral resource for this Mine within the area of its 7 historic adits. Thus the Company now holds numerous mineral deposits close to the company's Greenwood Mill, which with continued exploration success have potential to feed the mill after the currently defined resources are exhausted. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This press release includes certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions that have been made by Golden Dawn as at the date of such information and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Golden Dawn to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: the impact of general business and economic conditions; risks related to government and environmental regulation; problems inherent to the marketability of base and precious metals; industry conditions, including fluctuations in the price of base and precious metals, fluctuations in interest rates; government entities interpreting existing tax legislation or enacting new tax legislation in a way which adversely affects Golden Dawn; stock market volatility; competition; risk factors disclosed in Golden Dawn's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form, available electronically on SEDAR; and such other factors described or referred to elsewhere herein, including unanticipated and/or unusual events. Many such factors are beyond Golden Dawn's ability to control or predict. Although Golden Dawn has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those reliant on forward-looking information. All of the forward-looking information given in this press release is qualified by these cautionary statements and readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information due to its inherent uncertainty. Golden Dawn disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by law. This forward-looking information should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. On behalf of the Board of Directors: GOLDEN DAWN MINERALS INC. "Wolf Wiese" Wolf Wiese Chief Executive Officer THIS PRESS RELEASE WAS PREPARED BY MANAGEMENT WHO TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS CONTENTS. NEITHER TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE. THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CERTAIN FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS WHICH INVOLVE KNOWN AND UNKNOWN RISKS, DELAYS, AND UNCERTAINTIES NOT UNDER THE COMPANY'S CONTROL WHICH MAY CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COMPANY TO BE MATERIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE RESULTS, PERFORMANCE, OR ACHIEVEMENTS IMPLIED BY THESE FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS. WE SEEK SAFE HARBOR.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

Perhaps you're one of those people who puts up a Do Not Disturb note when you really get "in the zone" and don't want to be interrupted by coworkers. While it's a good idea, you often don't even notice when you're slipping into that high-productivity mindset. Also, there's the small fact that stopping to put up a note is an interruption in and of itself. With that in mind, a scientist from the University of British Columbia has invented a desktop LED light that automatically switches between green ("It's OK to talk to me") and red ("Leave me alone"). Assistant professor Thomas Fritz first started work on the "FlowLight" at the University of Zurich. It was inspired by a system used by workers at international engineering firm ABB Inc., wherein they would place road safety cones on their desks when they didn't want to be disturbed. The FlowLight determines an employee's engagement simply by tracking their keyboard and mouse activity – the more they're typing and mousing, the more it's assumed that they're concentrating, resulting in the light turning red. When the activity lessens, it goes back to green. There's a maximum amount of time that the light can be red within one day, however. This is to keep people from feeling that they're not working hard enough, or from competing with their coworkers. When tested with a total of 449 employees at 15 ABB offices in 12 countries for four weeks, the FlowLight system was said to have produced good results. Users reported 46 percent less interruptions, along with a work culture in which people were more respectful of one another's time. That said, people can certainly be "in the zone" yet not using their computer. That's why Fritz and his PhD student Manuela Züger are now testing an advanced version of the technology that uses biometric sensors to also measure variables such as heart rate, pupil dilation, eye blinks or conceivably even brainwave activity. A paper on the research is being presented next week at the CHI 2017 conference in Denver, Colorado.


Time travel is possible – at least in theory. Two physicists have come up with a mathematical model that describes a viable time machine. The perspective of building a machine which could help us travel in the past and change the course of our lives is an appealing one. In 1885, HG Wells published his sci-fi book The Time Machine, and the idea of travelling through time has never ceased to fascinate people ever since. It is at the core of many modern works of fiction – from the Harry Potter books to the latest series of Games of Thrones. Trending: Scientists reveal the first ever map of the bipolar brain In their study recently published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, the scientists created a created a mathematical model of a time machine known as Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (or TARDIS, just like the fictional time machine in Doctor Who). "People think of time travel as something as fiction," says study author Ben Tippett, from the University of British Columbia. "And we tend to think it's not possible because we don't actually do it. But, mathematically, it is possible." With his co-author David Tsang, he describes the TARDIS machine as a ''bubble'' of space-time geometry carrying those who step inside backward and forwards through space and time, as it speeds along a large circular path. Because this bubble moves through space and time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, it would allow people to move backward in time. Einstein's theory of general relativity, which states that gravitational fields are caused by waves – or distortions – in the fabric of space and time, is central to the scientists' mathematical model. Drawing from it, they explain that the curvature of space-time accounts for the curved orbits of the planets – and this property would also allow people to travel back in time. "The time direction of the space-time surface also shows curvature. There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower," Tippett explains. "My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time – to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time." In the study, the scientists are able to describe the way this bending of time with mathematical equations. But while the mathematical demonstration stands, it is unlikely that time travel will one day become reality. The scientists' model shows that it is theoretically possible to travel back in time – but building such a machine is so far technically unfeasible. To build a TARDIS, the scientists point out they would need to use and understand the properties of exotic matter (matter that deviates ''normal'' matter) – a perspective that remains elusive. You may be interested in:


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Among twin and triplet pregnancies that were reduced to singleton or twin pregnancies, there was a substantial reduction in complications such as preterm birth and very preterm birth, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Although rates of death and serious illness were not lower among all multifetal pregnancies that were reduced, pregnancies that resulted from fertility treatments did show a significant reduction in rates of death or serious illness following fetal reduction. Multiple births of twins and triplets -- and the associated health risks -- have increased in many high-income countries, with a respective twofold and threefold increase in recent decades. In Canada, triplet births or higher have increased from 52.2 per 100 000 live births to 83.5 between 1991 and 2009, mainly because of an increase in fertility treatments for older women of child-bearing age. In this study of all births -- live births and stillbirths -- in British Columbia (BC) between 2009 and 2013, researchers looked at birth outcomes among women who underwent elective fetal reduction of multifetal pregnancy compared with multifetal pregnancies without such reduction. Among the 208 827 women who gave birth during the study period, 95 (0.04%) underwent fetal reduction, with 45 women delivering twins and 50 delivering singletons. Dr. Neda Razaz, lead author of the study, noted that "The fetal reduction-associated decrease in preterm birth and low birth weight overall, combined with the decrease in death and serious illness among babies of women who conceived following fertility treatments, suggests that fetal reduction in multifetal pregnancy offers substantial benefits." Women who underwent fetal reduction were more likely to be older and of a higher socioeconomic status and significantly more likely (75% compared with 3.3%) to have undergone fertility treatment. The authors note that they had limited details on the timing, reason and number of fetuses reduced in some pregnancies. They note that physicians need to be sensitive when discussing the risks and benefits of fetal reduction with parents. "Clinicians counselling women with multifetal pregnancy should be aware of the potential for substantial parental stress resulting from fetal reduction procedures, including negative feelings such as guilt, regret and grief," the authors conclude. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre, Vancouver, BC; Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Hadassah Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel.


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bonti, a privately-held, clinical-stage biotechnology company, today announced the debut presentation of interim clinical data from Phase 2 study EB-001-GL201 of EB-001 in subjects with glabellar (frown) lines. Dr. Steve Yoelin, a co-principal investigator of the study, led off the highly attended Premier Global Hot Topics session at The Aesthetic Meeting 2017, organized by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), on April 28th in San Diego, CA. EB-001 is a novel Type E botulinum neurotoxin with a unique clinical profile, characterized by fast onset of effect. EB-001 will target aesthetic and therapeutic indications with multi-billion dollar addressable market opportunities. Dr. Yoelin, a world-renowned neurotoxin and facial aesthetics expert, is a co-principal investigator of the EB-001 Phase 2a clinical study (Study EB-001-GL-201). He highlighted the study design and previewed interim safety and efficacy data in his presentation. EB-001 is currently being evaluated in subjects with moderate to severe glabellar (frown) lines in a placebo-controlled, ascending dose cohort study which includes a single treatment cycle and follow-up for 28 days. A total of 24 subjects in 4 cohorts have been treated to date (20 received active drug, 4 received placebo). Review of blinded data suggests EB-001 is safe and well-tolerated at the doses administered so far. In blinded cohorts 3 and 4, several subjects showed a two point decrease in severity of glabellar lines, using the facial wrinkle scale, according to investigator assessment of severity. The onset of response was within 24 hours of treatment. Dose escalation will continue in order to determine the maximum efficacious dose and its duration of effect. Final study results will allow dose selection for future studies, and will be submitted for publication. “ The Bonti team, including our clinical investigators, was delighted when we began seeing positive data from our ongoing study and we are thrilled to have shared interim findings with key members of the medical community for the first time,” remarked Fauad Hasan, co-founder and CEO of Bonti. “ It was a privilege to have Dr. Yoelin speak on our behalf and we are thankful to the ASAPS for choosing EB-001 for the Hot Topics forum. As we previously announced, the results from this study will not only be important in addressing unmet needs in facial aesthetics in the future, they will also enable Bonti to advance its therapeutic development program to study EB-001 as a non-opioid solution for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.” “ This is a significant step forward for Bonti and I foresee EB-001 being a valuable addition to our aesthetic toolbox,” remarked Dr. Jean Carruthers, a pioneer in the cosmetic use of Type A botulinum neurotoxin and currently a Bonti Medical Advisor. “ I’m excited to see how rapidly this unique neurotoxin has progressed from the lab to the clinic. We’ve been waiting for this new option for a long time.” Dr. Yoelin is a board-certified physician who currently practices in Newport Beach, CA and has been a thought leader in the clinical and research fields. For the past decade he has developed an unprecedented expertise in facial aesthetics including the use of neurotoxins, dermal fillers and collagen stimulators. Dr. Yoelin is focused on innovation and has served as lead investigator in several pilot studies for novel agents, including one that led to a first-in-class FDA approved aesthetic product. Dr. Yoelin has lectured extensively on the use of facial injectables at numerous educational events in the U.S. and at international conferences. Dr. Carruthers is Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia. With her dermatologist husband Dr. Alastair Carruthers, she pioneered the cosmetic use of Type A botulinum neurotoxins and their combined use with three dimensional fillers, energy based devices and cosmetic surgery. She has published 288 peer reviewed scientific papers, 69 textbook chapters and 9 textbooks on this area and continues a very active research department. She is Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Canada, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in the UK and Fellow of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She has given more than 300 presentations worldwide on topics in cosmetic medicine and surgery. She has received several awards including in 2017 the highest honour of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the Samuel J Stegman Award. Dr. Carruthers has been profiled in numerous publications including Best Doctors in Canada, the New York Times, Allure magazine, Time, Newsweek and Vogue. She has also been featured on the television program 20/20. Bonti’s lead product candidate, EB-001, is an investigational botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E). EB-001 has a mechanism of action similar to the marketed BoNT/A products though it has a differentiated clinical profile. EB-001 has a fast onset of action (about 24 hours) and short duration of effect (about 4 weeks). Currently marketed BoNT/A products have an onset of action around 3-7 days and a duration of effect around 3-4 months. The unique target clinical profile of EB-001 is well suited for a vast range of aesthetic and therapeutic uses, including for the treatment of post-surgical and non-surgical musculoskeletal pain, with currently unmet needs. Study EB-001-GL-201, focusing on treatment of glabellar (frown) lines, is currently ongoing (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02939326). Bonti, based in Newport Beach, California, is a rapidly emerging biotechnology company founded by world class neurotoxin experts with proven success at Allergan, one of the Fortune 500 fastest growing pharma companies. This team, with unsurpassed neurotoxin, aesthetic and pain expertise, is uniquely qualified to develop unprecedented treatment paradigms driven by a novel neurotoxin platform to become an innovative leader in both aesthetic and therapeutic markets. By turning the science of neurotoxins into beneficial patient and healthcare provider solutions, Bonti will improve lives by successfully addressing key unmet needs in markets with multi-billion dollar addressable opportunities. For more information, please visit http://bonti.com.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Food purists may have cause to celebrate thanks to a recent international study directed by the University of British Columbia. The study, which evaluated the spread of genetically modified (GM) organisms to non-modified crops, has implications from farm to family. "Trying to figure out how far GM pollen will travel is really difficult," says study co-author Rebecca Tyson, associate professor of mathematics at UBC Okanagan. "It is important to have accurate tools to estimate this, so that unintentional cross-pollination of GM material to non-GM crops can be minimized." According to stastista.com, genetically modified crops in Canada are mostly located in Ontario and Quebec and consist of canola, soybeans, corn and sugar beets. More than 90 per cent of the canola grown in Canada is genetically modified. Tyson suggests that the simplest way to minimize cross fertilization between crops is to separate them. Up until now, the isolation distances have been somewhat haphazardly determined. Previous estimates have been based on two standard models, which either overestimate or underestimate pollen movement. The gap between these two distances makes prediction difficult and thus necessitates improved calculations, she explains. Tyson's research offers a new analytical tool which can provide a much improved estimate of how far pollen will travel. Along with colleagues from the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and Delft University (The Netherlands), she developed a mathematical model of pollen dispersal by bees, based on field experiments. "Our results suggest that separation distances of several hundred metres, proposed by some European countries, is unnecessarily large but separation by 40 metres is not sufficient," says Tyson. "Using our model, we can calculate and suggest separation sizes with better accuracy. For example, we have estimated that for a 0.9 per cent cross-pollination rate, the ideal distance of separation between two crops is between 51 and 88 metres, depending on crop size and type." These numbers are specific to particular crops and landscapes, she explains, but the predictive ability is the same. "We believe that our model provides a more accurate assessment of GM pollen cross-pollination than previous models," adds Tyson. "We are hopeful these findings will simplify the decision-making process for crop-growers and policy makers." This research was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

For much of its first 2 billion years, Earth was a very different place: oxygen was scarce, microbial life ruled, and the sun was significantly dimmer than it is today. Yet the rock record shows that vast seas covered much of the early Earth under the faint young sun. Scientists have long debated what kept those seas from freezing. A popular theory is that potent gases such as methane—with many times more warming power than carbon dioxide—created a thicker greenhouse atmosphere than required to keep water liquid today. In the absence of oxygen, iron built up in ancient oceans. Under the right chemical and biological processes, this iron rusted out of seawater and cycled many times through a complex loop, or "ferrous wheel." Some microbes could "breathe" this rust in order to outcompete others, such as those that made methane. When rust was plentiful, an "iron curtain" may have suppressed methane emissions. "The ancestors of modern methane-making and rust-breathing microbes may have long battled for dominance in habitats largely governed by iron chemistry," said Marcus Bray, a biology Ph.D candidate in the laboratory of Jennifer Glass, assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and principal investigator of the study funded by NASA's Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program. The research was reported in the journal Geobiology today. Using mud pulled from the bottom of a tropical lake, researchers at Georgia Tech gained a new grasp of how ancient microbes made methane despite this "iron curtain." Sean Crowe, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, collected mud from the depths of Indonesia's Lake Matano, an anoxic iron-rich ecosystem that uniquely mimics early oceans. Bray placed the mud into tiny incubators simulating early Earth conditions, and tracked microbial diversity and methane emissions over a period of 500 days. Minimal methane was formed when rust was added; without rust, microbes kept making methane through multiple dilutions. Extrapolating these findings to the past, the team concluded that methane production could have persisted in rust-free patches of ancient seas. Unlike the situation in today's well-aerated oceans, where most natural gas produced on the seafloor is consumed before it can reach the surface, most of this ancient methane would have escaped to the atmosphere to trap heat from the early sun.


News Article | March 22, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Encouraging kids to play outside is an efficient means of protecting the environment. A new study suggests that children who play outside grow up to be adults who love nature. The research was carried out at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and its results were published in the Australian Journal of Environmental Education. The researchers carried out a survey about positive experiences in nature. According to the results, 87 percent of the respondents who played outside as children answered that they continued to love nature as young adults. Inside this group, 84 percent of the nature lovers declared that protecting the environment is a priority. As part of the research, the scientists interviewed 50 university students, aged 18 to 25, and 100 percent of the females noted they either loved or somewhat loved nature. Additionally, 87 percent of the males declared the same. The researchers believe that awareness programs among young people are necessary for this population to develop a mentality aimed at protecting the environment, while being aware of the benefits that come along with collectively being responsible citizens. Programs such as Boy Scouts or Girl Guides are believed to be helpful in educating the young minds about preserving the environment. "The findings illustrated connections between childhood experiences in nature and later views of, and actions towards, the environment. The correlations between expressed views about caring for the environment and environmentally friendly actions were surprising, however, as actions did not necessarily align with beliefs," noted the research. However, more research will have to be carried out in order to determine whether the conclusion of this study was somewhat coincidental or it applies on a larger scale. Should the results of this study be universally applied, the findings could improve our ways of raising more environmentally responsible children. This type of information could benefit many countries, as it could help international teams of environmentalists create more effective programs. Environmental awareness is highly prioritized among many countries, and educating children when it comes to this issue could translate into more responsible citizens in the decades to come. Catherine Broom, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, who led the research, noted that early childhood classroom activities should create a connection between positive experiences kids have in nature and mindful awareness that their actions can play an important role in protecting the environment in their day-by-day activities, such as recycling or using alternative transportation. A previous study carried out among third and fifth grade participants in the Open Spaces as Learning Places program in New Haven, Connecticut, showed that there is a significantly positive effect when it comes to students's awareness of the local environment. The study was published in 2010 in The Journal of Environmental Education and described the main demographic for which these changes in the attitude toward environmental protection are translated into actions. The study showed that children have a higher interest in understanding and fixing environmental issues. At the same time, improvements in environmental awareness following this program appeared only among children who lived in high socioeconomic neighborhoods. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Title: Prospective study of biopsy Decipher scores in potential candidates for active surveillance Date: Saturday, May 13 (2:40 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. EST) Presentation Number: PD28-11 Room: BCEC - Room 205BC Presenter: Stacy Loeb, M.D., MSc, New York University Title: The Diverse Genomic Landscape of Low-risk Prostate Cancer Date: Monday, May 15 (10:15 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. EST) Presentation Number: PNFBA-09 Room: BCEC - Ballroom East Presenter: Matthew Cooperberg, M.D., M.P.H., University of California, San Francisco Title: Decipher Test Impacts Decision-Making among Patients Considering Adjuvant and Salvage Treatment following Radical Prostatectomy: Interim Results from the Multicenter Prospective PRO-IMPACT Study Date: Tuesday, May 16 (9:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. EST) Presentation Number: PD71-01 Room: BCEC - Room 162 Presenter: John L. Gore, M.D., M.S., University of Washington School of Medicine Title: Genomic Classifier augments the role of pathological features in identifying optimal candidates for adjuvant radiation in patients with prostate cancer: Development and internal validation of a multivariable prognostic model Date: Tuesday, May 16 (9:40 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. EST) Presentation Number: PD72-02 Room: BCEC - Room 205BC Presenter: Deepansh Dalela M.D., Henry Ford Health System Title: Molecular subtypes of muscle invasive bladder cancer are related to benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy: Development of a single sample patient assay Date: Saturday, May 13 (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST) Presentation Number: MP34-01 Room: BCEC - Room 253AB Presenter: Roland Seiler, M.D., University of British Columbia - Vancouver Title: Development and validation of novel genomic classifiers for prediction of adverse pathology after prostatectomy Date: Sunday, May 14 (1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST) Presentation Number: MP57-18 Room: BCEC - Room 153 Presenter: Firas Abdollah, M.D., Henry Ford Health System Title: Assessing Decipher for predicting lymph node positive disease among men diagnosed with intermediate risk disease treated with prostatectomy and ePLND Date: Sunday, May 14 (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST) Presentation Number: MP64-12 Room: BCEC - Room 156 Presenter: John Davis, M.D., MD Anderson Cancer Center GenomeDx's Decipher Genomics Resource Information Database (GRID) contains genomic profiles of thousands of tumors from patients with urological cancers, and is believed by GenomeDx to be the largest shared genomic expression database in urologic cancer as well as one of the world's largest global RNA expression databases using cloud-based analytics. GRID is a platform for interactive research collaboration, and may enable more rapid discovery, development, commercialization and adoption of new genomic solutions for key clinical questions in cancer treatment. Derived from GRID, GenomeDx's Decipher Prostate and Bladder Cancer Classifier tests are commercially available genomic tests that provide a genomic assessment of tumor aggressiveness for individual patients. Decipher Biopsy is indicated for men with localized prostate cancer at diagnosis, Decipher Post-Op is indicated for men after prostate removal surgery and Decipher Bladder is indicated for patients being considered for neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to bladder removal surgery. The Decipher tests are used by physicians to stratify patients into more accurate risk groups than determined by traditional diagnostic tools and to better determine which patients may be more likely to benefit from additional treatment. Each tumor analyzed with a Decipher test adds new data points to the GRID database, which is compiled into a Decipher GRID Profile that may reveal additional biological characteristics of the tumor for ongoing research purposes. Going beyond risk stratification, Decipher and GRID makes accessible genetic information for researchers to potentially better predict responses to therapy and more precisely guide treatment. More information is available at www.deciphertest.com and www.deciphergrid.com GenomeDx has reimagined the use of genomics as a platform for mass collaboration to improve treatment and outcomes of people with cancer. GenomeDx has built Decipher GRID, a large and fast-growing genomics database in urologic cancer that provides a foundation for open and interactive research collaboration and knowledge creation. Using Decipher GRID and machine learning to analyze vast amounts of genomic data, GenomeDx develops and commercializes proprietary clinical tests that are intended to provide more accurate and useful diagnostic information than traditional diagnostic tools or existing genomic tests. GenomeDx's Decipher Biopsy, Decipher Post-Op and Decipher Bladder are commercially available urologic cancer genomic tests that provide an assessment of tumor aggressiveness based on a patient's unique genomic profile. GenomeDx is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and operates a clinical laboratory in San Diego, California. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/genomedxs-decipher-grid-and-decipher-tests-to-be-featured-in-multiple-abstracts-at-the-112th-american-urological-association-annual-meeting-300451255.html


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A drug created from a malaria protein stopped tumour growth of chemotherapy-resistant bladder cancer, offering hope for cancer patients not responding to standard treatments. "This is the first study where we put the concept of using malaria proteins for cancer therapy into a direct clinical context," said Mads Daugaard, an assistant professor of urologic science at the University of British Columbia and a senior research scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. "There is a massive clinical need to find new treatments for bladder cancer and we saw an opportunity to target this disease with our new malaria drug." The study advances previous research that showed that a protein from the malaria parasite, called VAR2CSA, could target a wide range of cancer tumours. In the new research, highly aggressive bladder cancer tumours that were completely resistant to chemotherapy were implanted in the bladder of mice. The researchers then tested whether the malaria protein could deliver drugs directly to tumours. They found that the tumours responded dramatically to the malaria drug combo. Eighty per cent of the treated animals were alive after 70 days whereas all the other animals, in three different control groups, succumbed to bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer and the most expensive cancer to manage on a per patient basis. Currently, there is only one line of chemotherapy used for invasive bladder cancer and there have been few advances in finding new treatments in the past 20 years. "No second line treatment option is available," said Daugaard. "We're very excited by these results because it shows that we are on our way to developing a completely new treatment option for lethal bladder cancer. It has the potential to have a tremendous impact on patient care." In previous studies, Daugaard and his colleague Ali Salanti, at the University of Copenhagen, established that the VAR2CSA protein could be used to deliver cancer drugs directly to tumours because it binds to a sugar molecule that is found only in cancer tumours and the placenta of pregnant animals. These latest findings demonstrate that the same sugar is expressed in bladder cancer and is especially abundant in tumours that progress after being treated with the standard chemotherapy drug cisplatin. The researchers' next steps are to design a process that could see the VAR2CSA drug combination manufactured on a larger scale to begin clinical trials. This is being led by Daugaard and Salanti through their startup company VAR2 Pharmaceuticals. The study was published last week in the journal European Urology: http://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838(17)30232-4/fulltext


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.accesswire.com

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 18, 2017 / OSPREY GOLD DEVELOPMENT LTD. (TSX-V: OS) (the "Company" or "Osprey") is pleased to announce the appointment of Jasmine Lau, CPA, CA as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary effective April 17, 2017. Jasmine is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and has focused her career in the resource and pharmaceutical industries. Jasmine has served as CFO and was the controller of several public exploration companies with projects throughout the world. In addition to her experience working with junior resource companies, Jasmine worked at Teck Resources Ltd as a SOX Auditor. Prior to Teck Resources Ltd., Jasmine worked for Deloitte & Touche LLP's Vancouver Assurance & Advisory group where she focused on audits of public mining and resource companies. Jasmine earned a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Osprey is focused on exploring four historically producing gold properties in Nova Scotia, Canada. Osprey has the option to earn 100% (subject to certain royalties) in all four properties, including the Goldenville Gold Project, Nova Scotia's largest historic gold producer. For further information please contact: ON BEHALF OF OSPREY GOLD DEVELOPMENT LTD., For further information please contact Osprey at (236)521-0944 or [email protected] Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are "forward-looking information" with respect to Osprey within the meaning of applicable securities. Osprey provides forward-looking statements for the purpose of conveying information about current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. By its nature, this information is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific and which give rise to the possibility that expectations, forecasts, predictions, projections or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that assumptions may not be correct and that objectives, strategic goals and priorities will not be achieved. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to exploration findings, results and recommendations in connection with the updated technical report on the Goldenville property, as well as those risks and uncertainties identified and reported in Osprey's public filings under Osprey's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Although Osprey has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Osprey disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law.


VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 05, 2017) - Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (TSX VENTURE: CBW) ("Cannabis Wheaton" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the addition of new management and advisors, as it seeks to expand its investments in streaming and value creation platform within the cannabis sector. Chuck is a true pioneer of the North American cannabis industry having co-founded Canopy Growth Corporation (formerly Tweed Marijuana) and building it into 500,000 square feet of thriving marijuana grow capacity as its CEO. Today, Canopy Growth is worth over $1 billion and recognized as a world class cannabis producer. Chuck is currently CEO of Nesta Holding Co., a private equity firm focused on building partnerships and brand within the cannabis space and Chairman of National Access Cannabis, a clinic chain helping patients access the Canadian federal medical cannabis program. Chuck is a chartered professional accountant. He obtained his MBA from Queen's University and holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa. Jeff brings significant senior leadership and finance expertise to the Cannabis Wheaton team. He has managed more than USD $3 billion of deals in the Telecom, Banking, Insurance and Technology industries. Prior to Cannabis Wheaton, Jeff was the co-founder of CPS Management Partners, where he led the acquisition of multiple businesses in the insurance administration industry. Under his leadership, CPS Management Partners and its portfolio companies became the largest workers' compensation claims administrator in Canada, returning IRRs in excess of 50% to investors. Other prior work experience includes Engagement Manager at McKinsey, as well as various project and team management roles at SAP. Jeff holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, graduating at the top of his class as well as a Bachelors of Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Ian is co-founder and chief creative officer of Nesta Holding Co. Ian is actively engaged in building brands and creative strategies for Nesta's portfolio of companies -- Wikileaf, Feather and Nesta Brand Co. Ian is an award-winning creative director that has worked closely with major, local and international brands. He designed and implemented the brand development strategies for Canopy Growth (formerly Tweed Marijuana), positioning the brand as the undisputed leader in its market. He was also instrumental in rebranding Canopy Growth's acquisition of Bedrocan, a joint venture with the largest producer of cannabis in the Netherlands. Prior to his work in the cannabis industry he was a creative lead in Toronto at several world-class design and branding agencies -- most notably Bruce Mau Design. While at Bruce Mau, Ian was responsible for the creative and strategic development of several branding initiatives including: SOM Architects, the Ontario Science Centre, Ask.com, and LEGO's VisionLAB. He was also the lead creative on NBBJ Architects publication series and design manifesto -- Change Design. Brad is a second-generation mechanical contractor specializing in HVAC design and design build services. Most recently, Brad has focused his efforts in the cannabis industry after having been introduced to Canopy Growth (formerly Tweed Marijuana) in 2013. Brad was a key member of the original ground breaking team tasked with pioneering a large scale indoor environmental production platform, capable of delivering high yield, high quality product. Brad went on to help design and develop post production environments for trimming and processing, drying and curing, encapsulating and storing, medical marijuana. Since then, Brad has worked alongside, and led, a group of highly qualified design and build experts in the medical marijuana industry. Hugo is a senior corporate and commercial Partner at Bennett Jones LLP specializing in complex domestic and international transactions. He has advised industry-leading Canadian and foreign clients in connection with private mergers and acquisitions, financings, public procurements, outsourcing transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances and has significant venture capital and private equity experience. Hugo is also Canada's leading advisor in the cannabis industry representing a variety of global industry participants, including licensed producers, licensed producer applicants, licensed dealers, e-commerce platforms, seed-to-sale software developers, design and build firms, patient clinic businesses, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and cannabis branding companies. Hugo has acted as lead counsel or played a key role in a wide variety of transactions since the inception of the cannabis industry in Canada and is widely regarded as a Canadian cannabis industry pioneer. Hugo obtained his B.A from Carleton University, where he won the Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement and his J.D from the University of Toronto. Rick has spent his professional career in both the private sector as an entrepreneur, and the public sector as an elected official and senior staff member. Over the years, he has developed a thorough understanding of the development of federal and provincial policy frameworks, government relations, and strategic communications. Starting his career as a City Councillor and small business owner, Rick went on to successfully serve as a Ministerial Chief of Staff, and Policy Director at the Ontario Government's Management Board Gaming Secretariat leading the creation and expansion of gaming in Ontario. Rick has held senior roles in the Ontario Government under two Premiers and served for a decade as a 3-term Member of Parliament for St. Catharines from 2006-2015. Since 2016, he has served as President of the Ontario PC Party. Rick has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Schulich School of Business at York University and a Bachelor of Arts from Brock University. David is one of Canada's top independent security consultants. Over a 32-year career, he has advised major governments and corporations, secured some of Canada's most iconic landmarks and built the enterprise security program for a $19 billion global corporation protecting 60 million square feet of facility assets across Canada and globally. David's security advisory firm, David Hyde & Associates, has extensive experience and unrivalled success in security consultation within the regulated cannabis sector across Canada and internationally. Over the past four years under Canada's federal medical cannabis regulations, David Hyde & Associates has: (1) provided security consulting services to almost 150 MMPR/ACMPR license applicants; (2) attended 22 Pre-license Inspections with Health Canada and; (3) worked with 17 licensed producers' sites. David Hyde & Associates recently became the first Associate Member of Cannabis Canada Association, the industry association for licensed producers of cannabis. Mr. Hyde sits as the only Canadian member on the Security Committee for the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS). Josh is a Partner at Vicente Sederberg which specializes in risk-assessment for multi-national corporations and financial transactions in the highly regulated US cannabis industry. Mr. Kappel was one of the drafters of Amendment 64 in Colorado which legalized cannabis for all adults. Joshua is also a founding board member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, Simplifya, and VS Tech Ventures. In addition to his work with Vicente Sederberg, Josh is currently the Associate Director of Sensible ­Colorado, advocating for medical marijuana patient rights. He is also a founding member of the Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation (CRCR), and the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA). Josh has testified at numerous public hearings on issues related to medical marijuana, sat on many panels at various conferences, and routinely writes articles about a myriad of medical marijuana issues. Josh's work has been highlighted in the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette, Westword, Kush Magazine, West Coast Leaf, and Colorado Springs Independent. Mike Lickver is a corporate and commercial lawyer who specializes in all aspects of domestic and international commercial transactions. Mike is one of Canada's leading advisors in the Canadian cannabis industry representing a variety of global industry participants. Co-founding the cannabis practice at Bennett Jones alongside partner Hugo Alves in 2013, Mike has played a key role in a wide variety of domestic and international corporate and commercial transactions since the inception of the corporate cannabis industry in Canada. Mike speaks frequently at conferences across North America on topics related to the cannabis industry and, a frequent author to the industry, is also the Canadian Editor of the International Cannabis Law Journal. Mike is also on the board of advisors of Stoic Advisory Inc., a consulting firm focused on providing corporate finance expertise to clients in the global cannabis industry as well as the board of directors of Summit Leaders, a not-for-profit organization that aims to help Canadian youth engage in entrepreneurship. Mike is also an adjunct professor at Western Law where he teaches "Medical Marijuana: Law and Practice", a course he co-designed and co-developed and the first of its kind in Canada. Mike earned Law (J.D.) and MBA degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the Richard Ivey School of Business. Karamdeep Nijjar is a Partner at iNovia Capital (www.inovia.vc). iNovia currently manages over $500M in assets across various vehicles focused on venture stage investments in emerging Digital Services and Platforms. He works closely with both existing portfolio companies and potential future investees to identify and evaluate growth opportunities. Since joining iNovia in 2010, Karamdeep has served as a Director or Observer on the Boards of Chango, Vidyard, Top Hat, Clearpath Robotics, StreetContxt, Pressly, and Triple Lift. Karamdeep also led or co-led iNovia's investments in Thalmic Labs, ROSS, CareGuide, BufferBox, Tulip Retail, and Well.ca. Prior to joining iNovia, Karamdeep served as a subject matter expert at RBC on a variety of cross-enterprise software architecture initiatives, concentrating on strategies to maximize flexibility and reuse. Karamdeep made the transition to venture capital after completing an MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He also holds a Bachelor of Mathematics in Honours Computer Sciences - Bioinformatics from the University of Waterloo. "Cannabis Wheaton is changing how the industry works together. We are focused on creating value for our partners by offering a platform that promotes new opportunities for success while licensed producers and ACMPR applicants maintain their autonomy. We will invest in and support a wide range of cannabis cultivation companies -- each with a different vision, voice and brand identity, but all sharing the common goal of creating and delivering top quality products through industry leading best practices. Cannabis Wheaton was formed to enable its partners to achieve that goal and to create the evolution of the traditional licensed producer - LP2.0. I have been profoundly humbled at the resounding response to my efforts in assembling a management team and advisory board that is comprised of cannabis sector first-movers, visionaries and experts that are dedicated to helping our streaming partners. We are extremely excited about the future of our industry and intent on ensuring that Canadian companies remain at the forefront of the global cannabis economy." Cannabis Wheaton's first cohort of streaming partners includes 14 outstanding companies in six provinces across Canada. Our streaming partners consist of licensed producers pursuant to the ACMPR regulations or late stage LP applicants under the ACMPR. Collectively, our streaming agreements include existing built capacity and to be constructed capacity of approximately 1,300,000 square feet of cannabis cultivation and production space net to Cannabis Wheaton by 2019. Under each streaming agreement, the Company, upon the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent including having sufficient capital available for financing and performance of satisfactory due diligence, Cannabis Wheaton will provide financing to the applicable streaming partner in consideration for: (i) the issuance of shares of the streaming partner at an agreed-upon valuation; and (ii) an allocation of the streaming partner's cannabis production yield at either a fixed price or a cost-plus price. The yield component will be in respect of a defined period of time ranging from 10 to 99 years depending on the streaming partner. The Company intends to undertake a public prospectus offering to finance its rights under the streaming agreements. Through its patient service agreements, the Company also has access to patient service companies' platforms which collectively operate 39 physical cannabis clinics and/or resource centres across Canada as well as multiple virtual clinics. The patient service companies service more than 30,000 medical cannabis patients registered under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Each of the patient service agreements is with an industry-leading patient service company which has been, and continues to be, instrumental in educating Canadians and Canadian medical professionals on the viability of cannabis as a medical treatment option and aiding qualifying patients in gaining access to medical cannabis. By acquiring the patient service agreements, the Company will work collaboratively with each patient service company to ensure that patients who are medically authorized to access medical cannabis have the professional guidance and assistance they require to make informed decisions about the access and use of cannabis as a medical treatment. The Company also announces the resignation of each of Maurice Levesque (President and director) and Stephen McCoach (Chairman and director) and thanks both of them for their long and successful service with the Company. The directors of Cannabis Wheaton have adopted a new rolling 10% incentive stock option plan, subject to approval by shareholders. ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD "Chuck Rifici" Chairman & CEO Backed by a team of industry experts, Cannabis Wheaton is the first cannabis streaming company in the world. Its streams will include production from across Canada coming from its partners comprised of licensed producers of cannabis (LP) and late-stage LP applicants. Cannabis Wheaton's mandate is to facilitate real growth for our streaming partners by providing financial support and sharing our collective industry experience with our streaming partners. For more information about Cannabis Wheaton and our management team, please visit http://www.cannabiswheaton.com, or follow us on Twitter @CannabisWheaton. Call: 1-604 687 7130 Email: Mario@skanderbegcapital.com http://www.skanderbegcapital.com This news release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or information that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. This information is only a prediction. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking information throughout this news release. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to: the ability to generate revenue through the Streaming Agreements, requirements to obtain additional financing, timeliness of government approvals for granting of permits and licences, including licences to cultivate cannabis, completion of the Facilities, where applicable, actual operating performance of the Facilities, regulatory or political change, competition and other risks affecting the Company in particular and the medical cannabis industry generally. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is made, and is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. The Company is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The securities referred to in this news release have not been, nor will they be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons absent U.S. registration or an applicable exemption from the U.S. registration requirements. This release does not constitute an offer for sale of, nor a solicitation for offers to buy, any securities in the United States.


NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES WIRE SERVICES Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp., (TSX VENTURE: CBW) ("Cannabis Wheaton" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the addition of new management and advisors, as it seeks to expand its investments in streaming and value creation platforms for the cannabis sector. Chuck is a true pioneer of the North American cannabis industry having co-founded Canopy Growth Corporation (formerly Tweed Marijuana Inc.) and building it into 500,000 square feet of thriving cannabis grow capacity as its CEO. Today, Canopy Growth is worth over $1 billion and recognized as a world class cannabis producer. Chuck is currently CEO of Nesta Holding Co., a private equity firm focused on building partnerships and brands within the cannabis space and Chairman of National Access Cannabis, a clinic chain helping patients access the Canadian federal medical cannabis program. Chuck is a chartered professional accountant. He obtained his MBA from Queen's University and holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa. Jeff brings significant senior leadership and finance expertise to the Cannabis Wheaton team. He has managed more than USD$3 billion of deals in the Telecom, Banking, Insurance and Technology industries. Prior to Cannabis Wheaton, Jeff was the co-founder of CPS Management Partners, where he led the acquisition of multiple businesses in the insurance administration industry. Under his leadership, CPS Management Partners and its portfolio companies became the largest workers' compensation claims administrator in Canada, returning IRRs in excess of 50% to investors. Other prior work experience includes Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company, as well as various project and team management roles at SAP. Jeff holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, graduating at the top of his class, as well as a BASc of Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Ian is co-founder and chief creative officer of Nesta Holding Co. Ian is actively engaged in building brands and creative strategies for Nesta's portfolio companies. Ian is an award-winning creative director that has worked closely with major local and international brands. He designed and implemented the brand development strategies for Canopy Growth Corporation (formerly Tweed Marijuana Inc.), positioning the brand as the undisputed leader in its market. He was also instrumental in rebranding Canopy Growth Corporation's acquisition of Bedrocan, a joint venture with the largest producer of cannabis in the Netherlands. Prior to his work in the cannabis industry he was a creative lead in Toronto at several world-class design and branding agencies -- most notably Bruce Mau Design. While at Bruce Mau, Ian was responsible for the creative and strategic development of several branding initiatives including: SOM Architects, the Ontario Science Centre, Ask.com and LEGO's VisionLAB. He was also the lead creative on NBBJ Architects publication series and design manifesto -- Change Design. Brad is a second-generation mechanical contractor specializing in HVAC design and design-build services. Most recently, Brad has focused his efforts in the cannabis industry after having been introduced to Canopy Growth Corporation (formerly Tweed Marijuana Inc.) in 2013. Brad was a key member of the original ground-breaking team tasked with pioneering a large scale indoor environmental production platform capable of delivering high yield, high quality product. Brad went on to help design and develop post-production environments for trimming and processing, drying and curing, encapsulating and storing, medical cannabis. Since then, Brad has worked alongside, and led, a group of highly qualified design and build experts in the medical cannabis industry. Hugo is a senior corporate and commercial Partner at Bennett Jones LLP specializing in complex domestic and international transactions. He has advised industry-leading Canadian and foreign clients in connection with private mergers and acquisitions, financings, public procurements, outsourcing transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances and has significant venture capital and private equity experience. Hugo is also Canada's leading advisor in the cannabis industry representing a variety of global industry participants, including licensed producers, licensed producer applicants, licensed dealers, e-commerce platforms, seed-to-sale software developers, design and build firms, patient clinic businesses, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and cannabis branding companies. Hugo has acted as lead counsel or played a key role in a wide variety of transactions since the inception of the cannabis industry in Canada and is widely regarded as a Canadian cannabis industry pioneer. Hugo is also an adjunct professor at Western Law where he teaches "Medical Marijuana: Law and Practice", a course he co-designed and co-developed and the first of its kind in Canada. Hugo obtained his BA from Carleton University, where he won the Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement and his JD from the University of Toronto. Rick has spent his professional career in both the private sector as an entrepreneur, and the public sector as an elected official and senior staff member. Over the years, he has developed a thorough understanding of the development of federal and provincial policy frameworks, government relations, and strategic communications. Starting his career as a City Councillor and small business owner, Rick went on to successfully serve as a Ministerial Chief of Staff, and Policy Director at the Ontario Government's Management Board Gaming Secretariat leading the creation and expansion of gaming in Ontario. Rick has held senior roles in the Ontario Government under two Premiers and served for a decade as a 3-term Member of Parliament for St. Catharines from 2006-2015. Since 2016, he has served as President of the Ontario PC Party. Rick has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University and a BA from Brock University. David is one of Canada's top independent security consultants. Over a 32-year career, he has advised major governments and corporations, secured some of Canada's most iconic landmarks and built the enterprise security program for a $19 billion global corporation protecting 60 million square feet of facility assets across Canada and globally. David's security advisory firm, David Hyde & Associates, has extensive experience and unrivalled success in security consultation within the regulated cannabis sector across Canada and internationally. Over the past four years under Canada's federal medical cannabis regulations, David Hyde & Associates has: (i) provided security consulting services to almost 150 MMPR/ACMPR license applicants; (ii) attended 22 Pre-License Inspections with Health Canada and; (iii) worked with 17 licensed producer sites. David Hyde & Associates recently became the first Associate Member of the Cannabis Canada Association, the industry association for licensed producers of cannabis. David sits as the only Canadian member on the Security Committee for the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards. Josh is a Partner at the law firm Vicente Sederberg LLC which specializes in risk-assessment for multi-national corporations and financial transactions in the highly regulated U.S. cannabis industry. Mr. Kappel was one of the drafters of Amendment 64 in Colorado which legalized cannabis for all adults. Joshua is also a founding board member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, Simplifya, VS Tech Ventures, Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation, and the National Cannabis Bar Association. In addition to his work with Vicente Sederberg, Josh is currently the Associate Director of Sensible­Colorado, advocating for medical cannabis patient rights. Josh has testified at numerous public hearings on issues related to medical cannabis, sat on many panels at various conferences, and routinely writes articles about a myriad of medical cannabis issues. Josh's work has been highlighted in the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette, Westword, Kush Magazine, West Coast Leaf, and Colorado Springs Independent. Mike is a corporate and commercial lawyer who specializes in all aspects of domestic and international commercial transactions. Mike is one of Canada's leading advisors in the Canadian cannabis industry representing a variety of global industry participants. Co-founding the cannabis practice at Bennett Jones LLP alongside partner Hugo Alves in 2013, Mike has played a key role in a wide variety of domestic and international corporate and commercial transactions since the inception of the corporate cannabis industry in Canada. Mike speaks frequently at conferences across North America on topics related to the cannabis industry and, a frequent author to the industry, is also the Canadian Editor of the International Cannabis Law Journal. Mike is also on the board of advisors of Stoic Advisory Inc., a consulting firm focused on providing corporate finance expertise to clients in the global cannabis industry as well as the board of directors of Summit Leaders, a not-for-profit organization that aims to help Canadian youth engage in entrepreneurship. Mike is also an adjunct professor at Western Law where he teaches "Medical Marijuana: Law and Practice", a course he co-designed and co-developed and the first of its kind in Canada. Mike earned Law JD and MBA degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the Richard Ivey School of Business. Karamdeep is a Partner at iNovia Capital (www.inovia.vc). iNovia currently manages over $500 million in assets across various vehicles focused on venture stage investments in emerging Digital Services and Platforms. He works closely with both existing portfolio companies and potential future investees to identify and evaluate growth opportunities. Since joining iNovia in 2010, Karamdeep has served as a Director or Observer on the Boards of Chango, Vidyard, Top Hat, Clearpath Robotics, StreetContxt, Pressly, and Triple Lift. Karamdeep also led or co-led iNovia's investments in Thalmic Labs, ROSS, CareGuide, BufferBox, Tulip Retail, and Well.ca. Prior to joining iNovia, Karamdeep served as a subject matter expert at RBC on a variety of cross-enterprise software architecture initiatives, concentrating on strategies to maximize flexibility and reuse. Karamdeep made the transition to venture capital after completing an MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He also holds a Bachelor of Mathematics in Honours Computer Sciences - Bioinformatics from the University of Waterloo. "Cannabis Wheaton is changing how the industry works together. We are focused on creating value for our partners by offering a platform that promotes new opportunities for success while licensed producers and licensed producer applicants maintain their autonomy. We will invest in and support a wide range of licensed producers -- each with a different vision, voice and brand identity, but all sharing the common goal of creating and delivering top quality products through industry leading best practices. Cannabis Wheaton was formed to enable its partners to achieve that goal and to create the evolution of the traditional licensed producer - LP2.0. I have been profoundly humbled at the resounding response to my efforts in assembling a management team and advisory board that is comprised of cannabis sector first-movers, visionaries and experts that are dedicated to helping our streaming partners. We are extremely excited about the future of our industry and intent on ensuring that Canadian companies remain at the forefront of the global cannabis economy." Cannabis Wheaton's first cohort of streaming partners includes 14 outstanding companies in six provinces across Canada. Our streaming partners consist of licensed producers of cannabis (LPs) (pursuant to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR)) and LP applicants. Collectively, our streaming agreements include future capacity of approximately 1,300,000 equivalent square feet of cannabis cultivation and production capacity net to Cannabis Wheaton by the end of 2019, according to industry recognized production averages. Under each streaming agreement, the Company, upon the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent including having sufficient capital available for financing, performance of satisfactory due diligence and receipt by certain streaming partners of applicable regulatory approvals, Cannabis Wheaton will provide financing to the applicable streaming partner in consideration for: (i) the issuance of an equity interest in the streaming partner at an agreed-upon valuation; and (ii) an allocation of a portion of the streaming partner's cannabis production yield at either a fixed price or a cost-plus price. The yield component will be for a defined period of time ranging from 10 to 99 years depending on the streaming partner. Through its patient service agreements, the Company also has access to a variety of patient service companies' platforms which collectively operate 39 physical cannabis clinics and/or resource centres across Canada as well as multiple virtual clinics. The patient service companies collectively service more than 30,000 medical cannabis patients currently registered under the ACMPR. Each of the patient service agreements is with an industry-leading patient service company which has been, and continues to be, instrumental in educating Canadians and Canadian medical professionals on the viability of cannabis as a medical treatment option and aiding qualifying patients in gaining access to medical cannabis. The Company will work collaboratively with each patient service company to ensure that patients who are medically authorized to access medical cannabis have the professional guidance and assistance they require to make informed decisions about the access and use of cannabis as a medical treatment. The Company also announces the resignation of each of Maurice Levesque (President and director) and Stephen McCoach (Chairman and director) and thanks both of them for their long and successful service with the Company. The directors of Cannabis Wheaton have adopted a new rolling 10% incentive stock option plan, subject to approval by shareholders. ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD Backed by a team of industry experts, Cannabis Wheaton is the first cannabis streaming company in the world. Its streams will include production from across Canada coming from its partners comprised of licensed producers of cannabis (LP) and LP applicants. Cannabis Wheaton's mandate is to facilitate real growth for our streaming partners by providing financial support and sharing our collective industry experience with our streaming partners. For more information about Cannabis Wheaton and our management team, please visit http://www.cannabiswheaton.com, or follow us on Twitter @CannabisWheaton. Call: 1-604 687 7130 Email: Mario@skanderbegcapital.com http://www.skanderbegcapital.com This news release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or information that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. This information is only a prediction. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking information throughout this news release. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to: the ability to generate revenue through the streaming agreements, requirements to obtain additional financing, timeliness of government approvals for granting of permits and licences, including licences to cultivate cannabis, completion of the facilities, where applicable, actual operating performance of the facilities, regulatory or political change, competition and other risks affecting the Company in particular and the medical cannabis industry generally. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is made, and is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. The Company is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The securities referred to in this news release have not been, nor will they be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons absent U.S. registration or an applicable exemption from the U.S. registration requirements. This release does not constitute an offer for sale of, nor a solicitation for offers to buy, any securities in the United States.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Patrice & Associates is pleased to announce it has signed its first international franchise agreement with Regional Developers Ross and Karen Horton in Canada. The Hortons have signed on to develop the recruiting franchise in Eastern Canada, focusing on Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The husband and wife team will operate their Patrice & Associates franchise out of the Niagara Region while also developing the brand and supporting other Canadian franchisees. The franchise focuses on staffing management positions in restaurants, hotels and casinos and is widely considered the gold standard in restaurant recruiting. Unlike other staffing franchise competitors, every Patrice & Associates franchisee starts his or her entrepreneurial journey with an immediate cash flow. Because the brand is nearly three decades old and has built an impressive list of national clients in the restaurant and hotel industries, many of whom have Canadian locations, franchisees have clients to work from day one. Patrice & Associates also has specialty niches in retail and franchise sector placement. “Patrice & Associates is a well proven concept in the U.S. and we immediately saw the potential it has in Canada,” said Ross Horton. “Both the recruiting and hospitality industries have been growing for decades in Canada, and combining them allows us and other like-minded entrepreneurs an opportunity to take charge of our family’s future. There is enough business for 40-50 Patrice & Associates offices in Eastern Canada, and we expect to open the first 30 of those over the next 10 years.” Prior to becoming Patrice & Associates’ first Canadian Regional Developers, Karen and Ross had illustrious careers in hospitality facility management and fundraising & event management, respectively. Most recently, Ross spent a decade at the University of British Columbia where he worked with the Student Society. In this role, he oversaw the build out and development of a new student union and helped run 10-12 student food and beverage businesses. Prior to UBC, Ross spent many years working in the exhibition business, managing home shows across North America for Daily Mail Group. Karen most recently served as the director of fundraising and event management for a hospital in Vancouver, B.C. “Becoming an international company while bringing on dedicated, hardworking Regional Developers like the Hortons marks a significant milestone for Patrice & Associates,” said Patrice Rice, founder and CEO. “With this relationship, thousands of hospitality businesses throughout Eastern Canada will be exponentially more successful at finding great talent. I’m confident that entrepreneurs across the nation will be in great hands with the Hortons.” As the premier hospitality talent acquisition firm in the United States since 1989, Patrice & Associates helps thousands of managerial candidates every year find rewarding jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The company, founded by Patrice Rice, has exclusive recruiting partnerships with some the nation’s largest restaurant chains and hotels to ensure those hospitality venues recruit the top managers in their industry. Currently, there are 100 franchise units across the country. Patrice & Associates is currently on track to open 350 franchise offices by 2022. For more information on Patrice & Associates, visit www.patriceandassociates.com.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

​Istuary Innovation Group has kicked off the first of a series of talks, Make the Change: Women in STEM, focused on creating opportunities and efforts to build a more diverse, inclusive workforce in Canada. The first talk, held yesterday, was in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, featuring leading academic Professor Elizabeth Croft, well known for increasing the percentage of female students entering first year engineering at UBC to 30 per cent from 20 per cent during her tenure as NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering. Research presented by Professor Croft covering women in STEM professions indicates only 12 percent of hires in computing and engineering were women as of 2013. “One of the biggest challenges for attracting women, in my experience, is in building their confidence,” said Professor Elizabeth Croft, Associate Dean for Education and Professional Development, University of British Columbia. “This can be done by creating a welcoming environment and addressing their feelings of ‘imposteritis,’ that is, feeling like an imposter no matter how successful or established one is.” Istuary grew from zero women hires when it first started in 2013 to 20 percent in less than three years. Jean Su, Vice President of Engineering, Innovation Labs, who also spoke today, was the first female software developer hired at the company a year and a half ago. Underrepresentation of women led Istuary to make significant strides to increase the number of women with backgrounds from mechanical engineering to software development and computer design. “I developed my career in a heavily male-dominated industry but I saw it more as an opportunity,” said Su. “I studied in Canada at UBC then worked in China, where my female colleagues are expected to work for a few years then leave and have a family. Canada is more advanced in providing huge opportunities for women, but it needs to be better. From a business perspective, it just makes logical sense.” Istuary will host Make the Change: Women in STEM Talks regularly. For more information, contact: media@istuary.com. Istuary Innovation Group is a Canadian technology company with a mission to connect local technology to global markets through globalization for sustainable innovation. Istuary focuses on identifying and filling technology gaps in foreign markets by leveraging Canada’s world-class design and engineering talent. Operating in 3 countries, 30 cities, and employing over 1500 employees worldwide, go to www.istuary.com for more information.


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PureTech Health plc (“PureTech Health” or the “Company”, LSE:PRTC), an advanced, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, is pleased to announce a licensing agreement between Commense, Inc. (“Commense”), a subsidiary of PureTech Health, and the University of British Columbia (“UBC”) for a microbiome-based therapy directed toward the prevention of asthma and other allergic diseases that present in childhood. This live biotherapeutic product bolsters Commense’s pipeline of novel therapeutic programs designed to nurture a healthy microbiome early in life. The licensed technology was developed at UBC by B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Member of the Company, Stuart Turvey, MBBS, D.Phil, FRCPC, and their colleagues and is based on their research published in Science Translational Medicine. Based on analysis of a longitudinal study, Dr. Finlay and his colleagues identified a transient imbalance early in life in children with atopy, wheeze, and asthma of four specific bacterial taxa: Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia (FLVR). In preclinical models of airway inflammation, signs of respiratory diseases, such as asthma, were ameliorated when live FLVR was introduced to correct the imbalance. The potential protective influence of FLVR in the early development of a child’s immune system and against the development of asthma could have a significant impact on non-infectious, chronic diseases in children and adults. “Asthma is a lifelong chronic disease that affects the quality of life of over 25 million Americans. The impact of using a defined microbial intervention to potentially change the natural course of asthma and prevent many cases of the disease could be profound,” said Fernando Martinez, MD, Director of the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center at the University of Arizona and a Clinical Advisor to Commense. “The FLVR supplementation approach uses defined gut-derived bacterial consortia against allergy and asthma. If this approach were to be successful, it would be a key step forward.” “Nurturing a healthy microbiome early in life represents a novel strategy to significantly reduce the impact of chronic diseases like asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity,” said Joe Bolen, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for PureTech Health. “Brett’s work and contributions with FLVR build upon our arsenal of microbiome-derived therapeutics and may potentially impact childhood health in an important way.” Commense programs are part of PureTech Health’s growing pipeline in immunology and microbiome-based therapeutics. These programs leverage the core expertise PureTech Health has developed through its Vedanta Biosciences subsidiary, allowing for accelerated development. Commense anticipates initiation of human clinical trials in 2019. PureTech Health has gathered a group of leading expert collaborators and advisors around the Commense program, including: About Commense Commense, a subsidiary of PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC), is building on a deep understanding of the microbiome early in life and its fundamental role in promoting a lifetime of good health. Drawing insights from natural exposures to beneficial microbes, Commense is developing approaches to guide the priming, seeding, and maintaining of the microbiome in infants and children. Commense is working with the world’s leading microbiome scientists, physicians, and product developers to develop a novel category of products to address critical unmet needs in pediatric populations. About PureTech Health PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is an advanced, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines that modulate the adaptive human systems. PureTech’s therapies target the dysfunctions in the immune, nervous, and gastro-intestinal systems by addressing the underlying pathophysiology of disease from a systems perspective rather than through a single receptor or pathway. The Company is advancing a rich pipeline that includes multiple human proof-of-concept studies and pivotal or registration studies expected to read out over the next 12-18 months. PureTech Health’s growing research and development pipeline has been developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading scientific experts, who along with PureTech's experienced team and a stellar Board identify, analyze and advance very selectively the opportunities the Company believes hold the most promise for patients. This experienced and engaged team places PureTech Health at the forefront of ground-breaking science and technological innovation and leads the Company between and beyond existing disciplines. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com or connect with us on Twitter @puretechh. Forward Looking Statement This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

The initial study will assess immune responses of 10 healthy adults (ages 40-80) to a licensed hepatitis B vaccine. It will feature one of the most comprehensive analyses of how people respond to vaccinations to learn why some individuals are protected from a single dose, while others are not. The study will expand to include several hundred people – from neonates to the elderly in middle and low-income countries. "Developing a better understanding of why some groups of people are protected from disease is a goal that simply must be achieved," said Co-Principal Investigator Tobias Kollmann, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and an investigator at the Vaccine Evaluation Center in Vancouver, Canada. "The licensed hepatitis B vaccine, which only works in about 30 percent of people on the first shot, is an ideal model vaccine to study general principles of human immunological protection because it is one of the few vaccines for which we know how it protects." The study will take place at the at the Vaccine Evaluation Center, in Vancouver, Canada, and will be augmented by extensive immunological and bioinformatic analyses at the Project's San Diego Mesa Consortium, which includes the J. Craig Venter Institute, the La Jolla Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, and UC San Diego, with clinical coordination by the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. "With technological advances in biomedical, computational and engineering sciences, we have an unprecedented opportunity to decipher the immune system's components and core principles required to generate long-lasting immunity against disease, and usher in a new era of global health," added Stanley Plotkin, M.D., Chairman of the Human Vaccines Project's Board of Directors. About the Human Vaccines Project| The Human Vaccines Project is a nonprofit public-private partnership with a mission to decode the human immune system to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancers. The Project brings together leading academic research centers, industrial partners, nonprofits and governments to address the primary scientific barriers to developing new vaccines and immunotherapies. Support and funding for the Project includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, GSK, Illumina, MedImmune, Sanofi Pasteur, Crucell/Janssen, Regeneron, Pfizer, Moderna, Boehringer Ingelheim, Aeras, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, UC San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, J. Craig Venter Institute and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. To learn more, visit www.humanvaccinesproject.org. For media inquiries, please contact Kierstin Coatney, Kierstin@globalgatewayadvisors.com or +1-716-378-1602. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-aims-to-explain-the-rules-of-how-the-immune-system-works-300453028.html


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

Pull out your list of regrets, mistakes and runs of just plain bad luck, because it turns out you can go back. A University of British Columbia professor has run the numbers on the feasibility of time travel, and he says they check out. "People think of time travel as something fictional," math and physics instructor Ben Tippett said in a news release Thursday. "And we tend to think it's not possible because we don't actually do it. But, mathematically, it is possible." It's a finding that's sure to inject new energy and vigor into late-night, half-sober arguments about the morality of traveling back in time to assassinate Adolf Hitler before his rise to power. Tippett created a formula based on Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, which states that huge cosmic objects like stars and black holes distort space and time. The recent detection of gravitational waves created by distant colliding black holes confirmed Einstein's theory. Large stars can actually cause the fabric of the space-time continuum to curve, which Tippett says contributes to the curved orbits of planets as they move through space. "The time direction of the space-time surface also shows curvature. There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower," he explains. "My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time -- to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time." Oh, cool. So all we have to do is build this time-bending machine and we're off to 2012 to bet everything we have on the then-laughably long odds of a European Union without the UK, a US president named Trump and the world champion Chicago Cubs. Actually, Tippett says not so fast, McFly. "While is it mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials -- which we call exotic matter -- to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered." Tippett's research was published in a recent issue of the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity. Of course, not all physicists are ready to climb aboard Tippett's hypothetical time machine, which he cleverly named the "Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time," or TARDIS, in a nod to the iconic time-traveling booth from "Doctor Who." No less than the world's most famed cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, has said that if time travel is possible, we certainly wouldn't be able to go backward in time. But Tippett's calculations show that his TARDIS, which is really just a conceptual bubble of space-time, can move backward and forward by moving at speeds that would exceed the speed of light at times. I seem to remember another famous brainiac concluding that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light. In fact, it was the same Mr. Einstein that inspired all this far-out speculative math to begin with. However, if it were possible to break that barrier, Einstein said it would be essentially equivalent to time travel. So now that we may have the math down, are we actually any closer to building a time machine and visiting a certain field near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 just to see who shows up? All we need to do is break the speed of light barrier and get ahold of some physics-defying exotic matter that may or may not be real. As it turns out, just this month researchers said they have created a fluid that possesses negative mass, one of the characteristics of the type of exotic matter we'd need to bend time. So you might say we're progressing quite nicely toward making time travel a reality, but it sure would be nice if someone from a future where they've already got it figured out came back to help us out. Time to keep a close eye out for any real-world TARDISes and Time Lords. CNET en Español: Get all your tech news and reviews in Spanish.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

IMAGE:  Tiny incubators were used to simulate early Earth conditions, tracking microbial diversity and methane emissions over a period of 500 days. view more For much of its first two billion years, Earth was a very different place: oxygen was scarce, microbial life ruled, and the sun was significantly dimmer than it is today. Yet the rock record shows that vast seas covered much of the early Earth under the faint young sun. Scientists have long debated what kept those seas from freezing. A popular theory is that potent gases such as methane -- with many times more warming power than carbon dioxide -- created a thicker greenhouse atmosphere than required to keep water liquid today. In the absence of oxygen, iron built up in ancient oceans. Under the right chemical and biological processes, this iron rusted out of seawater and cycled many times through a complex loop, or "ferrous wheel." Some microbes could "breathe" this rust in order to outcompete others, such as those that made methane. When rust was plentiful, an "iron curtain" may have suppressed methane emissions. "The ancestors of modern methane-making and rust-breathing microbes may have long battled for dominance in habitats largely governed by iron chemistry," said Marcus Bray, a biology Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Jennifer Glass, assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and principal investigator of the study funded by NASA's Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program. The research was reported in the journal Geobiology on April 17, 2017. Using mud pulled from the bottom of a tropical lake, researchers at Georgia Tech gained a new grasp of how ancient microbes made methane despite this "iron curtain." Collaborator Sean Crowe, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, collected mud from the depths of Indonesia's Lake Matano, an anoxic iron-rich ecosystem that uniquely mimics early oceans. Bray placed the mud into tiny incubators simulating early Earth conditions, and tracked microbial diversity and methane emissions over a period of 500 days. Minimal methane was formed when rust was added; without rust, microbes kept making methane through multiple dilutions. Extrapolating these findings to the past, the team concluded that methane production could have persisted in rust-free patches of ancient seas. Unlike the situation in today's well-aerated oceans, where most natural gas produced on the seafloor is consumed before it can reach the surface, most of this ancient methane would have escaped to the atmosphere to trap heat from the early sun. In addition to those already mentioned, the research team included Georgia Tech professors Frank Stewart and Tom DiChristina, Georgia Tech postdoctoral scholars Jieying Wu and Cecilia Kretz, Georgia Tech Ph.D. candidate Keaton Belli, Georgia Tech M.S. student Ben Reed, University of British Columbia postdoctoral scholar Rachel Simister, Indonesian Institute of Sciences researcher Cynthia Henny, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography professor Jay Brandes, and University of Kansas professor David Fowle. This research was funded by NASA Exobiology grant NNX14AJ87G. Support was also provided by a Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (NSF-CDEBI OCE-0939564) small research grant, and by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NNA15BB03A). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring organizations. CITATION: Bray M.S., J. Wu, B.C. Reed, C.B. Kretz, K.M. Belli, R.L. Simister, C. Henny, F.J. Stewart, T.J. DiChristina, J.A. Brandes, D.A. Fowle, S.A. Crowe, J.B. Glass. 2017. Shifting microbial communities sustain multi-year iron reduction and methanogenesis in ferruginous sediment incubations. (Geobiology 2017). http://dx. .


Isman M.B.,University of British Columbia | Grieneisen M.L.,University of California at Davis | Grieneisen M.L.,Wenzhou University
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2014

Our analysis of >20. 000 papers on botanical insecticides from 1980 to 2012, indicates major growth in the number of papers published annually (61 in 1980 to 1207 in 2012), and their proportion among all papers on insecticides (1.43% in 1980 to 21.38% in 2012). However, only one-third of 197 random articles among the 1086 papers on botanical insecticides published in 2011 included any chemical data or characterization; and only a quarter of them included positive controls. Therefore, a substantial portion of recently published studies has design flaws that limit reproducibility and comparisons with other and/or future studies. In our opinion, much of the scientific literature on this subject is of limited use in the progress toward commercialization or advancement of knowledge, given the resources expended. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Foulsham T.,University of Essex | Kingstone A.,University of British Columbia
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | Year: 2013

Many modern theories propose that perceptual information is represented by the sensorimotor activity elicited by the original stimulus. Scanpath theory (Noton & Stark, 1971) predicts that reinstating a sequence of eye fixations will help an observer recognize a previously seen image. However, the only studies to investigate this are correlational ones based on calculating scanpath similarity. We therefore describe a series of 5 experiments that constrain the fixations during encoding or recognition of images in order to manipulate scanpath similarity. Participants encoded a set of images and later had to recognize those that they had seen. They spontaneously selected regions that they had fixated during encoding (Experiment 1), and this was a predictor of recognition accuracy. Yoking the parts of the image available at recognition to the encoded scanpath led to better memory performance than randomly selected image regions (Experiment 2), and this could not be explained by the spatial distribution of locations (Experiment 3). However, there was no recognition advantage for re-viewing one's own fixations versus someone else's (Experiment 4) or for retaining their serial order (Experiment 5). Therefore, although it is beneficial to look at encoded regions, there is no evidence that scanpaths are stored or that scanpath recapitulation is functional in scene memory. This paradigm provides a controlled way of studying the integration of scene content, spatial structure, and oculomotor signals, with consequences for the perception, representation, and retrieval of visual information. © American Psychological Association.


Agranovich V.M.,University of Texas at Dallas | Agranovich V.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Gartstein Y.N.,University of Texas at Dallas | Litinskaya M.,University of British Columbia
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2011

The hybrid resonant organic-inorganic nanostructures for optoelectronic applications are examined. The probability of Förster resonant energy transfer from an excited molecule to another molecule is proportional to the overlap of the fluorescence spectrum of the donor and the absorption spectrum of the acceptor, these spectra being determined in the absence of the donor acceptor interaction. The dependence of energy transfer on the distance between components of the nanostructure strongly depends on its geometry and is different for quantum wells, wires, and dots. The UV light-emitting InGaN QW is spaced from the blue-light-emitting poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-9,9-di(4- methoxy)phenyl-fluorene) film by GaN cap layers of variable thickness. Energetic alignment is needed to maximize the resonant coupling between the inorganic and organic excitations. The energy-transfer-based hybrids are expected to be more interface quality tolerant and not suffer from low charge carrier mobilities in the organic component.


Nosil P.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Nosil P.,Institute for Advanced Study | Schluter D.,University of British Columbia
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2011

The long-standing goal of finding genes causing reproductive isolation is being achieved. To better link the genetics with the process of speciation, we propose that 'speciation gene' be defined as any gene contributing to the evolution of reproductive isolation. Characterizing a speciation gene involves establishing that the gene affects a component of reproductive isolation; demonstrating that divergence at the locus occurred before completion of speciation; and quantifying the effect size of the gene (i.e. the increase in total reproductive isolation caused by its divergence). Review of a sample of candidate speciation genes found that few meet these criteria. Improved characterization of speciation genes will clarify how numerous they are, their properties and how they affect genome-wide patterns of divergence. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Brunham L.R.,University of British Columbia | Hayden M.R.,University of British Columbia | Hayden M.R.,National University of Singapore
Science | Year: 2012

Whole-genome sequencing may dramatically alter medicine, but there are obstacles to broad implementation.


Hopcraft J.G.C.,University of Groningen | Olff H.,University of Groningen | Sinclair A.R.E.,University of British Columbia
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2010

Herbivores are regulated by predation under certain environmental conditions, whereas under others they are limited by forage abundance and nutritional quality. Whether top-down or bottom-up regulation prevails depends both on abiotic constraints on forage availability and body size, because size simultaneously affects the risk of predation of herbivores and their nutritional demands. Consequently, ecosystems composed of similar species can have different dynamics if they differ in resource supply. Here, we use large herbivore assemblages in African savanna ecosystems to develop a framework that connects environmental gradients and disturbance patterns with body size and trophic structure. This framework provides a model for understanding the functioning and diversity of ecosystems in general, and unifies how top-down and bottom-up mechanisms depend on common underlying environmental gradients. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


McCutcheon J.P.,University of Montana | Keeling P.J.,University of British Columbia
Current Biology | Year: 2014

New work in aphids shows that a nuclear-encoded protein resulting from a horizontal gene transfer is targeted to a bacterial symbiont, further blurring the distinction between organelle and symbiont. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.


Herron M.D.,University of British Columbia | Herron M.D.,University of Montana | Doebeli M.,University of British Columbia
PLoS Biology | Year: 2013

The causes and mechanisms of evolutionary diversification are central issues in biology. Geographic isolation is the traditional explanation for diversification, but recent theoretical and empirical studies have shown that frequency-dependent selection can drive diversification without isolation and that adaptive diversification occurring in sympatry may be an important source of biological diversity. However, there are no empirical examples in which sympatric lineage splits have been understood at the genetic level, and it is unknown how predictable this process is-that is, whether similar ecological settings lead to parallel evolutionary dynamics of diversification. We documented the genetic basis and the evolutionary dynamics of adaptive diversification in three replicate evolution experiments, in which competition for two carbon sources caused initially isogenic populations of the bacterium Escherichia coli to diversify into two coexisting ecotypes representing different physiological adaptations in the central carbohydrate metabolism. Whole-genome sequencing of clones of each ecotype from different populations revealed many parallel and some unique genetic changes underlying the derived phenotypes, including changes to the same genes and sometimes to the same nucleotide. Timelines of allele frequencies extracted from the frozen "fossil" record of the three evolving populations suggest parallel evolutionary dynamics driven at least in part by a co-evolutionary process in which mutations causing one type of physiology changed the ecological environment, allowing the invasion of mutations causing an alternate physiology. This process closely corresponds to the evolutionary dynamics seen in mathematical models of adaptive diversification due to frequency-dependent ecological interactions. The parallel genetic changes underlying similar phenotypes in independently evolved lineages provide empirical evidence of adaptive diversification as a predictable evolutionary process. © 2013 Herron, Doebeli.


Donkin J.J.,University of British Columbia | Vink R.,University of Adelaide
Current Opinion in Neurology | Year: 2010

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although a number of factors contribute to the high mortality and morbidity associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI), the development of cerebral edema with brain swelling remains the most significant predictor of outcome. The present review summarizes the most recent advances in the understanding of mechanisms associated with development of posttraumatic cerebral edema, and highlights areas of therapeutic promise. RECENT FINDINGS: Despite the predominance of cytotoxic (or cellular) edema in the first week after traumatic brain injury, brain swelling can only occur with addition of water to the cranial vault from the vasculature. As such, regulation of blood-brain barrier permeability has become a focus of recent research seeking to manage brain edema. Aquaporins, matrix metalloproteinases and vasoactive inflammatory agents have emerged as potential mediators of cerebral edema following traumatic brain injury. In particular, kinins (bradykinins) and tachykinins (substance P) seem to play an active physiological role in modulating blood-brain barrier permeability after trauma. Substance P neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists show particular promise as novel therapeutic agents. SUMMARY: Attenuating blood-brain barrier permeability has become a promising approach to managing brain edema and associated swelling given that increases in cranial water content can only be derived from the vasculature. Inflammation, both classical and neurogenic, offers a number of attractive targets. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Nelson S.K.,University of California at Riverside | Kushlev K.,University of British Columbia | Lyubomirsky S.,University of California at Riverside
Psychological Bulletin | Year: 2014

The relationship between parenthood and well-being has become a hot topic among scholars, media, and general public alike. The research, however, has been mixed-some studies indicate that parents are happier than nonparents, whereas others suggest the reverse. We suggest that the question of whether parents are more or less happy than their childless peers is not the most meaningful one. To reconcile the conflicting literature and expand understanding of the emotional experience of parenthood, we present a model of parents' well-being that describes why and how parents experience more or less happiness than nonparents (i.e., mediators of the link between parenthood and well-being). We then apply this model to explain when parents are more likely to experience more or less happiness (i.e., moderators of parents' well-being, such as parent age or child temperament). Supporting our model, we review 3 primary methodological approaches: studies comparing parents and nonparents, studies examining changes in well-being across the transition to parenthood, and studies comparing parents' experiences while with their children to their other daily activities. Our review suggests that the relationship between parenthood and well-being is highly complex. We propose that parents are unhappy to the extent that they encounter relatively greater negative emotions, magnified financial problems, more sleep disturbance, and troubled marriages. By contrast, when parents experience greater meaning in life, satisfaction of their basic needs, greater positive emotions, and enhanced social roles, they are met with happiness and joy. © 2014 American Psychological Association.


Duncan C.P.,University of British Columbia | Haddad F.S.,22 Buckingham Street
Bone and Joint Journal | Year: 2014

Periprosthetic fractures are an increasingly common complication following joint replacement. The principles which underpin their evaluation and treatment are common across the musculoskeletal system. The Unified Classification System proposes a rational approach to treatment, regardless of the bone that is broken or the joint involved. ©2014 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 7.75M | Year: 2012

In the midst of a climatic change scenario, the genetics of adaptive response in conifers becomes essential to ensure a sustainable management of genetic resources and an effective breeding. Conifers are the target of major tree breeding efforts worldwide. Advances in molecular technologies, such as next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, could have an enormous impact on the rate of progress and achievements made by tree breeding programmes. These new technologies might be used not only to improve our understanding of fundamental conifer biology, but also to address practical problems for the forest industry as well as problems related to the adaptation and management of conifer forests. In this context, ProCoGen will address genome sequencing of two keystone European conifer species. Genome re-sequencing approaches will be used to obtain two reference pine genomes. Comparative genomics and genetic diversity will be closely integrated and linked to targeted functional genomics investigations to identify genes and gene networks that efficiently help to develop or enhance applications related to forest productivity, forest stewardship in response to environmental change or conservation efforts. The development of high-throughput genotyping tools will produce an array of pre-breeding tools to be implemented in forest tree breeding programmes. ProCoGen will also develop comparative studies based on orthologous sequences, genes and markers, which will allow guiding re-sequencing initiatives and exploiting the research accumulated on each of the species under consideration to accelerate the use of genomic tools in diverse species. ProCoGen will integrate fragmented activities developed by European research groups involved in several ongoing international conifer genome initiatives and contribute to strengthening international collaboration with North American initiatives (US and Canada).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-PE9 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2013

Stars like our Sun and planets like our Earth form in dense regions within interstellar molecular clouds, called pre-stellar cores (PSCs). PSCs provide the initial conditions in the process of star and planet formation, but large uncertainties exist concerning basic astrophysical processes and parameters, such as surface chemistry, the cosmic-ray ionization rate, the H2 ortho-to-para ratio, the abundance of atomic Oxygen and metals. In current models, these parameters/processes are typically fixed to some canonical values and variations across PSCs are neglected. With the new generation of telescopes and the advances in radiative transfer and dynamical/chemical modelling, the time has now come to develop theoretical models without highly uncertain parameters. PCSs are dark, cold and quiescent. They are the simplest units in the process of star formation. Thus, they provide a unique opportunity for the study of fundamental astrophysical processes in a calm environment, just before the battering of the protostellar storm. For this reason, PSCs can be used as ideal laboratories to refine our understanding of how stars and planets form. With this advanced grant fellowship, I plan to connect state of the art dynamical and chemical models and test them against detailed observations of prototypical PCSs to first deliver parameters and processes that are needed to understand basic physical mechanisms. I will then explore in detail the formation, evolution and physical/chemical structure of PSCs in different environments. Finally, with the help of ALMA data, I will focus on the central few thousands AU and study the first steps toward the formation and early evolution of proto-planetary disks (PPDs). This is sorely needed to enable us to understand the initial conditions in the process of star and planet formation and to link PSCs with PPDs, currently studied by different communities, with the ultimate aim of understanding our chemical/physical heritage.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: ENV.2009.2.1.6.2 | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2010

The main aim of FoResTTraC is to prepare future coordinated research plans, via a strategic research roadmap, between Europe and North America regarding adaptation of forest trees to climate changes, linking different disciplines: ecology, genetics, genomics and evolution. FoResTTraC brings together a critical mass of research expertise in these disciplines on both sides of the Atlantic with 6 leading European partners, 3 American and 2 Canadian partners. For the time being, large scale genomics projects have been conducted in parallel between North America and Europe, lacking in cooperative exchanges and interactions. The leading institutions coordinating these projects are partners of FoResTTraC to ensure that the current stateofart research is represented in the project. FoResTTraC will deliver a mapping of current research capacity and state of the art research in forest ecosystem genomics, a validated research roadmap regarding adaptation to climate change, a set of joint science plans, a collection of genomic resources preparing future whole genome sequencing of ecologically and economically important tree species. All project outcomes will be validated during the project by a wide group of stakeholders from Europe and North America and will be disseminated widely via the project website and key dissemination.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present the 2017 awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession during the Society's Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore. The awards ceremony will take place during the Scientific Plenary on Monday, August 7, at 8 AM in the Oregon Ballroom, Oregon Convention Center. Learn more about ESA awards on our home website. The Eminent Ecologist Award honors a senior ecologist for an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit. Soil ecologist Diana Wall, the founding director of the Colorado State University's School of Global Environmental Sustainability, is world-renowned for uncovering the importance of below-ground processes. Best known for her outstanding quarter century of research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, one of the more challenging environments of the planet. Her research has revealed fundamental soil processes from deserts and forests to grasslands and agricultural ecosystems to New York City's Central Park. Dr. Wall's extensive collaborative work seeks to understand how the living component of soil contributes to ecosystem processes and human wellbeing--and to in turn uncover how humans impact soils, from local to global scales. In landmark studies, she revealed the key role of nematodes and other tiny animals as drivers of decomposition rates and carbon cycling. The biodiversity in soils, she found, influences ecosystem functioning and resilience to human disturbance, including climate change. She demonstrated that the biodiversity belowground can at times be decoupled from biodiversity aboveground. Her focus on nematodes in soils in very harsh environments, from the cold, dry Antarctic to hot, dry deserts, opened up a perspective on how life copes with extreme environments. She has a laudable record of publishing excellent papers in top-ranked scientific journals. Dr. Wall has played a vital role as an ecological leader, chairing numerous national and international committees and working groups and serving as president of the Ecological Society of America in 1999. She is a Fellow of ESA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Society of Nematologists. In 2013, she received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for her outspoken efforts as an ambassador for the environmental and economic importance of soils and ecology. Currently, she is scientific chair of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, which works to advance soil biodiversity for use in policy and management of terrestrial ecosystems. Dr. Wall is well-respected in her role as mentor of young scientists, over several generations, and as a communicator of science outside the usual academic arenas. Odum Award recipients demonstrate their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities.? Kathleen Weathers is a senior scientist and the G.Evelyn Hutchinson chair of ecology at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, where she focuses on freshwater ecosystems. For more than a decade, she has been dedicated to advancing bottom-up network science, creating training opportunities for graduate students and tools for citizen science engagement. Her efforts strive to equip the next generation of ecologists and managers with the skills needed to protect freshwater resources. Dr Weathers played a guiding role in the formation of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), and currently acts as co-chair. A part of this international grassroots collaboration she helped develop Lake Observer, a crowd-sourcing App that streamlines the way that researchers and citizen scientists record water quality observations in lakes, rivers, and streams. Dr. Weathers has made it a priority to mentor students and early-career scientists participating in GLEON, with an eye toward diversity, inclusion, and instruction. She helped empower GLEON's student association, which contributes meaningfully to governance and training within the broader network. She also spearheaded the development of the GLEON Fellows Program, a two-year graduate immersion in data analysis, international collaboration, effective communication, and team science. The GLEON Fellows Program has emerged as a model for training initiatives in macrosystem ecology, and will affect the ecological community positively for decades to come, as participants carry their training forward to other institutions and endeavors. The Distinguished Service Citation recognizes long and distinguished volunteer service to ESA, the scientific community, and the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. Debra Peters is the founding editor-in-chief of ESA's newest journal, Ecosphere, created in 2010 to offer a rapid path to publication for research reports from across the spectrum of ecological science, including interdisciplinary studies that may have had difficulty finding a home within the scope of the existing ESA family of journals. In her hands the online-only, open-access journal has claimed a successful niche in the ecological publications landscape, expanding to publish over 400 manuscripts in 2016. Dr. Peters, an ecologist for the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research service's (USDA-ARS) Jornada Experimental Range and lead principal investigator for the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research program in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has served on the editorial boards of ESA's journals Ecological Applications, Ecology and Ecological Monographs. She chaired the society's Rangeland Section, was a founding member and chair of the Southwest Chapter, and has served as member-at-large on the Governing Board. As program chair for the 98th Annual Meeting of the society, she inaugurated the wildly popular Ignite talks, which give speakers the opportunity to present conceptual talks that do not fit into the standard research presentation format. Dr. Peters has greatly contributed to the broader research enterprise as senior advisor to the chief scientist at the USDA, and as a member of the National Ecological Observatory Network's (NEON) Board of Directors. She has provided this quite amazing array of services in support of the society and her profession while maintaining an outstanding level of research productivity and scientific leadership in landscape-level, cross-scale ecosystem ecology. Many of her more than 100 research publication have been cited more than 100 times. Her fine record of research led to her election as a Fellow of ESA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In all respects, Debra Peters exemplifies distinguished service to the ESA, and to science. ESA's Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach. Gillian Bowser, research scientist in Colorado State University's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, is honored for her joyful and successful recruitment and retention of under-represented students to the study of ecology, to public service in support of the natural world, and to empowerment of women and minorities worldwide. The Cooper Award honors the authors of an outstanding publication in the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. William S. Cooper was a pioneer of physiographic ecology and geobotany, with a particular interest in the influence of historical factors, such as glaciations and climate history, on the pattern of contemporary plant communities across landforms. University of Waterloo, Ontario professor Andrew Trant and colleagues at the University of Victoria and the Hakai Institute in British Columbia revealed a previously unappreciated historical influence on forest productivity: long-term residence of First Nations people. Counter to a more familiar story of damage to ecosystems inflicted by people and their intensive use of resources, the activities of native people on the Central Coast of British Columbia enhanced the fertility of the soil around habitation sites, leading to greater productivity of the dominant tree species, the economically and culturally valuable western redcedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don). Through a combination of airborne remote sensing and on-the-ground field work, the authors showed that forest height, width, canopy cover, and greenness increased on and near shell middens. They presented the first documentation of influence on forest productivity by the daily life activities of traditional human communities. The Mercer Award recognizes an outstanding and recently-published ecological research paper by young scientists. Biological invasions, and migrations of native species in response to climate change, are pressing areas of interest in this time of global change. Fragmentation of the landscape by natural and human-made barriers slows the velocity of spread, but it is not known how patchy habitat quality might influence the potential for evolution to accelerate invasions. Jennifer Williams, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, and colleagues implemented a creative experimental design using the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana that allowed them to disentangle ecological and evolutionary dynamics during population expansion. Some plant populations were allowed to evolve, while others were continually reset to their original genetic composition. The authors convincingly demonstrate that rapid evolution can influence the speed at which populations spread, especially in fragmented landscapes. The Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of the scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences. Sustainability challenges like air pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, energy and food security, disease spread, species invasion, and water shortages and pollution are often studied, and managed, separately, although they the problems they present are interconnected. Jianguo Liu and colleagues provide a framework for addressing global sustainability challenges from a coupled human and natural systems approach that incorporates both socioeconomic and environmental factors. They review several recent papers that have quantified at times conflicting efforts to provide ecosystem services, when these efforts are examined in a global perspective. The authors argue for the need to quantify spillover systems and feedbacks and to integrate analyses over multiple spatial and temporal scales. This will likely require the development of new analytical frameworks both to understand the social ecological mechanisms involved and to inform management and policy decisions for global sustainability. The Innovation in Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of a peer-reviewed paper published in the past five years exemplifying leading-edge work on solution pathways to sustainability challenges. One of the biggest challenges facing development of effective policy to address sustainability issues is that the concepts and vocabulary used by scientists to define and promote sustainability rarely translate into effective policy, because they do not include measures of success. This challenge is particularly apparent in the concept of stability and resilience, terms which are frequently used in policy statements and have long been the subject of empirical and theoretical research in ecology, but for which there are no easily defined and quantified metrics. Ian Donohue and colleagues argue that much of the fault for this disconnect lies with the academic community. They summarize and analyze a number of examples to support their claim that ecologists have taken a one-dimensional approach to quantifying stability and disturbance when these are actually multi-dimensional processes. They argue that this has led to confused communication of the nature of stability, which contributes to the lack of adoption of clear policies. They propose three areas where future research is needed and make clear recommendations for better integrating the multidimensional nature of stability into research, policy and actions that should become a priority for all involved in sustainability science. The Whittaker Award recognizes an ecologist with an earned doctorate and an outstanding record of contributions in ecology who is not a U.S. citizen and who resides outside the United States. Petr Pyšek, the chair of the Department of Invasion Ecology at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, is honored for his pioneering and insightful work in invasion ecology. Dr. Pyšek is editor-in-chief of Preslia (Journal of the Czech Botanical Society) and serves on the editorial boards of Biological Invasions, Diversity and Distributions, Folia Geobotanica, and Perspectives on Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. The Shreve award supplies $1,000-2,000 to support ecological research by graduate or undergraduate student members of ESA in the hot deserts of North America (Sonora, Mohave, Chihuahua, and Vizcaino). Daniel Winkler, a PhD student with Travis Huxman at University of California Irvine, studies the invasion of Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii) in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts. His dissertation focuses on determining the source populations of Sahara mustard and whether plasticity in functional traits is allowing the species to spread. Funds from the Forrest Shreve Student Research Fund will be used to process samples for leaf stable isotopes and elemental stoichiometry, allowing for a comparison of functional traits indicative of local adaptation and the species' plasticity. Daniel was a National Park Service Young Leaders in Climate Change Fellow and a NSF EAPSI Research Fellow. Learn more about the August 7-12, 2017 ESA Annual Meeting on the meeting website: http://esa. ESA welcomes attendance from members of the press and waives registration fees for reporters and public information officers. To apply, please contact ESA Communications Officer Liza Lester directly at llester@esa.org. The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world's largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society's Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www. .


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Here are summaries of research to be presented by CIFAR fellows at the 2017 AAAS meeting in Boston, MA from Feb. 16-19. CIFAR Humans & the Microbiome Program Co-Director Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children) will moderate a discussion on the microbes that inhabit humans -- collectively called the microbiome. Program Co-Director Brett Finlay (University of British Columbia) will speak on the role of the microbiome in early childhood. Senior Fellow Eran Elinav (Weizmann Institute of Science) will delve into how genes, diet and microbiomes interact. Ana Duggan of Senior Fellow Hendrik Poinar's lab (McMaster University) will describe how they reconstruct ancient genomes and microbiomes. CIFAR Azrieli Brain, Mind & Consciousness Senior Fellow Sheena Josselyn (Hospital for Sick Children) brings together leaders in the field of memory research, approaching the expansive question of the temporal component of memory using unique tools. Josselyn recently discovered the neural rules for separating emotional memories across the temporal context in the amygdala, and will discuss how this process may go awry with psychiatric conditions. Eran Elinav, a Senior Fellow in CIFAR's Humans & the Microbiome program, will answer questions about how the microbiome affects humans (especially in regards to their diet) as well as how it can affect entire societies--shaping them through both common diseases and pandemics. A quantum mechanical representation of information could enable revolutionary technologies, from fast computation to unbreakable encryption. CIFAR Senior Fellow in the Quantum Information Science program Michele Mosca (University of Waterloo) will discuss cybersecurity in an era with quantum computers. Associate Fellow in the Quantum Information Science program Scott Aaronson (University of Texas) will speak on how quantum research is deepening our understanding of physics and mathematics. CIFAR creates knowledge that is transforming our world. Established in 1982, the Institute brings together interdisciplinary groups of extraordinary researchers from around the globe to address questions and challenges of importance to the world. Our networks help support the growth of research leaders and are catalysts for change in business, government and society. CIFAR is generously supported by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, Canadian and international partners, as well as individuals, foundations and corporations.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Throughout the past 15 years, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), the nation's only nonprofit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapies for cancer, has been an initial funder for early cancer cell, gene and immunotherapy research in North America. ACGT has provided nearly $27 million to cancer research and treatment. This year, ACGT is proud to announce two new scientists that are recipients of the ACGT Young Investigator Grants: Marco Gallo, PhD, of the University of Calgary and Greg Delgoffe, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh. ACGT is supporting Dr. Gallo's research into the cellular anomalies in glioblastoma brain cancer and Dr. Delgoffe's research into metabolically reprogramming tumor-specific T cells for treating solid tumors including melanoma. Dr. Marco Gallo is an assistant professor of Physiology & Pharmacology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary, Cummings School of Medicine in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Gallo's research focuses on the cellular anomalies in brain tumors, with a special emphasis on glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in adults with a survival rate of only 13 months. One of the reasons treatments are often ineffective is the Machiavellian cellular structure within the tumor. A small population of cancer cells, called cancer stem cells, successfully evade traditional therapies. Dr.Gallo's team has learned that cancer stem cells have regions of highly compacted DNA caused by low levels of a specific protein. His research is designed to alter the cancer-specific DNA architecture by introducing an engineered protein, which can be directed to any site in the human genome and will be used to unravel the tumor. Pre-clinical studies will permit an analysis of both immediate efficacy and lasting affect. Dr. Gallo earned a PhD in medical genetics at the University of British Columbia and a BS in molecular biology and biochemistry at Simon Fraser University, both in Canada. He has published six primary authorship papers since beginning his post-doctoral fellowship in 2010. "In essence, our technology will enable us to perform a new kind of gene therapy, by directly targeting DNA structure, which is the ultimate determinant of cancer stem cell behavior," said Dr. Marco Gallo, ACGT Young Investigator. Dr. Greg Delgoffe is an assistant professor of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and member of the Tumor Microenvironment Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter. Recent clinical successes have revealed that the immune system can be successfully harnessed to fight cancer. Various strategies are utilized, including enhancing a patient's 'natural' response to cancer as well as 'redirecting' a patient's immune cells, T cells, to the tumor using genetic engineering. T cell therapies have shown remarkable progress in the treatment of hematological malignancies but have yet to show dramatic success in solid tumors. Dr. Delgoffe's research focuses on how T cell metabolism might be bolstered through gene therapy to promote activity in the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Delgoffe's lab, building on basic observations that T cells are exquisitely sensitive to metabolic perturbations in their surroundings, has shown that in solid tumors, cancer cells evade immune responses in part by depriving the T cell of the ability to generate energy, and depleting the local environment of nutrients. Dr. Delgoffe's team will utilize genetic engineering to metabolically 'reprogram' tumor-specific T cells to fight cancer for an extended period of time. The goal is to generate super-soldier T cells that can be redirected to the tumor site, while bolstered metabolically to support long-term and durable responses. His research will explore the use of genetically modified T cells as a monotherapy against anti-PD1-resistant melanoma. His next goal will be to combine adoptive cell therapy with PD-1 blockade to learn if this combination is more effective. Dr. Delgoffe earned a PhD at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a BS in Biomedical Sciences at Western Michigan University and has published several papers in the field of immune metabolism and tumor immunology. In 2015 he was selected as a Kimmel Scholar by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research. "Our work has the potential to transform the way we reprogram therapeutic T cells, such that they have increased metabolic fitness and longevity to promoting durable and effective regression in cancer patients," noted Dr. Greg Delgoffe, ACGT Young Investigator. ACGT has a 15-year history of funding innovative cancer research. Drs. Gallo and Delgoffe represent ACGT's 51st and 52nd grant recipients, including 16 clinical translation grants. This is particularly exciting given ACGT's commitment to contributing 100 percent of donations directly to research. Additional breakthroughs carried out by ACGT grantees, like Dr. Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania and his work successfully treating leukemia through cancer gene therapy, have been touted in recent national documentaries aired on PBS and HBO. These trials are showing a 90 percent remission rate of children and adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia after participating in a personalized cellular therapy trial. ACGT-funded work is also attracting increasing attention from the pharmaceutical industry, which is swiftly discovering the potential of cell and gene therapies. "ACGT has become a leader in funding early-stage breakthrough cancer cell, gene and immunotherapy research" said John Walter, CEO and president of ACGT. "ACGT's Young Investigator grants are an opportunity for talented young scientists to receive funding for research that might be overlooked by the NIH or other backers because it is deemed 'too early.' We at ACGT see this research in another light -- by backing Young Investigators, we can truly make an impact on how cancer is treated and hopefully play a part in making it a manageable disease." Established in 2001, ACGT is the nation's only non-profit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapy treatments for all types of cancer. One hundred percent of contributions go directly to research. ACGT has funded 52 grants in the U.S. and Canada since its founding in 2001 by Barbara Netter and her late husband Edward, to conduct and accelerate critically needed innovative research. Since its inception, ACGT has awarded 36 grants to Young Investigators and 16 grants to Clinical Investigators, totaling nearly $27 million in funding. ACGT is located at 96 Cummings Point Road, Stamford, Connecticut 06902; 203-358-5055. To learn more, visit acgtfoundation.org or join the ACGT community on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at @acgtfoundation.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

University of British Columbia researchers have developed a magnetic drug implant--the first of its kind in Canada--that could offer an alternative for patients struggling with numerous pills or intravenous injections. The device, a silicone sponge with magnetic carbonyl iron particles wrapped in a round polymer layer, measures just six millimetres in diameter. The drug is injected into the device and then surgically implanted in the area being treated. Passing a magnet over the patient's skin activates the device by deforming the sponge and triggering the release of the drug into surrounding tissue through a tiny opening. "Drug implants can be safe and effective for treating many conditions, and magnetically controlled implants are particularly interesting because you can adjust the dose after implantation by using different magnet strengths. Many other implants lack that feature," said study author Ali Shademani, a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program at UBC. Actively controlling drug delivery is particularly relevant for conditions like diabetes, where the required dose and timing of insulin varies from patient to patient, said co-author John K. Jackson, a research scientist in UBC's faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. "This device lets you release the actual dose that the patient needs when they need it, and it's sufficiently easy to use that patients could administer their own medication one day without having to go to a hospital," said Jackson. The researchers tested their device on animal tissue in the lab using the prostate cancer drug docetaxel. They found that it was able to deliver the drug on demand even after repeated use. The drug also produced an effect on cancer cells comparable to that of freshly administered docetaxel, proving that drugs stored in the device stay effective. Mu Chiao, Shademani's supervisor and a professor of mechanical engineering at UBC, said the team is working on refining the device and narrowing down the conditions for its use. "This could one day be used for administering painkillers, hormones, chemotherapy drugs and other treatments for a wide range of health conditions. In the next few years we hope to be able to test it for long-term use and for viability in living models," said Chiao. "Active regulation of on-demand drug delivery by magnetically triggerable microspouters" was recently published online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 28, 2017) - FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP. (TSX:FR)(NYSE:AG)(FRANKFURT:FMV)(BVM:AG) (the "Company" or "First Majestic") is pleased to announce the promotion of Dustin VanDoorselaere, previously Vice President of Operations, to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) beginning March 1, 2017. Mr. VanDoorselaere, an experienced mining engineer, will be responsible for overseeing all operational functions at each of the Company's six operating silver mines in Mexico. Prior to joining First Majestic in November 2016, Mr. VanDoorselaere held the position of General Manager for Nyrstar, a global metals and mining company, and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of mining operations, including legal and government relations, at the El Mochito mine in Honduras and the Campo Morado mine in Mexico. Prior to Nyrstar, Mr. VanDoorselaere held various operational positions at Goldgroup Mining and Aurico Gold in Mexico. Prior to working in Mexico, Mr. VanDoorselaere held senior operating positions with Redback Mining in Ghana, Norilsk Nickel in Australia, as well as numerous international mining companies within Canada. Salvador García, who previously held the COO position since July 2014, has been appointed to the new position of Country Manager of Mexico and will be responsible for government and stakeholder relations in Mexico. He will represent First Majestic at various political and social functions and will continue to work with Mr. VanDoorselaere, in a supporting role, to maintain positive relationships federally and in the local and state regions in which the Company operates. In addition, First Majestic is also pleased to announce the appointment of Marjorie Co, effective March 1, 2017, to the Company's Board of Directors. Ms. Co brings over 20 years of legal, business and corporate development experience. She currently provides business development and legal advice for technology-focused organizations and start-up companies. Her previous roles have included being the Director of Strategic Relations at Westport Innovations and Chief Development Officer at The Proof Centre of Excellence. Ms. Co was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1996 and is a Member of the Law Society of British Columbia. Ms. Co obtained her Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of British Columbia, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University. First Majestic is a mining company focused on silver production in Mexico and is aggressively pursuing the development of its existing mineral property assets. The Company presently owns and operates six producing silver mines; the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine, the La Encantada Silver Mine, the La Guitarra Silver Mine, Del Toro Silver Mine and the Santa Elena Silver/Gold Mine. Production from these six mines is projected to be between 11.1 to 12.4 million ounces of pure silver or 16.6 to 18.5 million ounces of silver equivalents in 2017. This news release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "plan", "forecast", "may", "schedule" and similar words or expressions, identify forward-looking statements or information. These forward-looking statements or information relate to, among other things: the price of silver and other metals; the accuracy of mineral reserve and resource estimates and estimates of future production and costs of production at our properties; estimated production rates for silver and other payable metals produced by us, the estimated cost of development of our development projects; the effects of laws, regulations and government policies on our operations, including, without limitation, the laws in Mexico which currently have significant restrictions related to mining; obtaining or maintaining necessary permits, licences and approvals from government authorities; and continued access to necessary infrastructure, including, without limitation, access to power, land, water and roads to carry on activities as planned. These statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information and the Company has made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation: fluctuations in the spot and forward price of silver, gold, base metals or certain other commodities (such as natural gas, fuel oil and electricity); fluctuations in the currency markets (such as the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar); changes in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments in Canada, Mexico; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins and flooding); risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inability to obtain adequate insurance to cover risks and hazards; and the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on mining, including those currently enacted in Mexico; employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities; diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; the Company's title to properties; and the factors identified under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form, under the caption "Risks Relating to First Majestic's Business". Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements or information. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affecting such statements or information, other than as required by applicable law.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Chronic pain sufferers and those taking mental health meds would rather turn to cannabis instead of their prescribed opioid medication, according to new research by the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria. "This study is one of the first to track medical cannabis use under the new system of licensed producers, meaning that all participants had physician authorization to access cannabis in addition to their prescription medicines," says UBC Assoc. Prof. Zach Walsh, co-author of the study. The study tracked more than 250 patients with prescribed medical cannabis--people treated for conditions such as chronic pain, mental health and gastrointestinal issues. Overall, 63 per cent of respondents reported using cannabis instead of their prescription drugs, which included opioids (to treat pain), benzodiazepines (sedatives) and anti-depressants. Study lead Philippe Lucas is vice-president of Patient Research and Access at Tilray, a federally authorized medical cannabis production and research company, and a graduate fellow at the University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Lucas suggests the main reasons for the switch to cannabis from prescribed meds is due to reduced side effects, better symptom management and a feeling that cannabis is safer than prescription drugs. Walsh goes on to suggest cannabis may have an important role to play in addressing the problematic use of pharmaceutical medications such as opioids. In 2001, Canada became one of the first nations to develop a program to allow access to cannabis for medical purposes. As of August 2016 more than 30 federally authorized licensed producers of cannabis provided product to more than 65,000 patients. "Further research into how well cannabis works compared to the accepted front-line treatments is warranted," says Walsh. "Additionally, long-term research into the potential impact of the cannabis substitution on the quality of patient's lives is ongoing." The study, published in International Journal of Drug Policy, was funded by Tilray.


McElhaney J.E.,University of British Columbia | McElhaney J.E.,University of Connecticut
Ageing Research Reviews | Year: 2011

The most profound consequences of immune senescence with respect to public health are the increased susceptibility to influenza and loss of efficacy of the current split-virus influenza vaccines in older adults, which are otherwise very effective in younger populations. Influenza infection is associated with high rates of complicated illness including pneumonia, heart attacks and strokes in the 65+ population. Changes in both innate and adaptive immune function not only converge in the reduced response to vaccination and protection against influenza, but present significant challenges to new vaccine development. In older adults, the goal of vaccination is more realistically targeted to providing clinical protection against disease rather sterilizing immunity. Correlates of clinical protection may not be measured using standard techniques such as antibody titres to predict vaccine efficacy. Further, antibody responses to vaccination as a correlate of protection may fail to detect important changes in cellular immunity and enhanced vaccine-mediated protection against influenza illness in older people. This article will discuss the impact of influenza in older adults, immunologic targets for improved efficacy of the vaccines, and alternative correlates of clinical protection against influenza that are needed for more effective translation of novel vaccination strategies to improved protection against influenza in older adults. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Kapur S.,King's College London | Phillips A.G.,University of British Columbia | Insel T.R.,National Institute of Mental Health
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Patients with mental disorders show many biological abnormalities which distinguish them from normal volunteers; however, few of these have led to tests with clinical utility. Several reasons contribute to this delay: lack of a biological 'gold standard' definition of psychiatric illnesses; a profusion of statistically significant, but minimally differentiating, biological findings; 'approximate replications' of these findings in a way that neither confirms nor refutes them; and a focus on comparing prototypical patients to healthy controls which generates differentiations with limited clinical applicability. Overcoming these hurdles will require a new approach. Rather than seek biomedical tests that can 'diagnose' DSM-defined disorders, the field should focus on identifying biologically homogenous subtypes that cut across phenotypic diagnosis-thereby sidestepping the issue of a gold standard. To ensure clinical relevance and applicability, the field needs to focus on clinically meaningful differences between relevant clinical populations, rather than hypothesis-rejection versus normal controls. Validating these new biomarker-defined subtypes will require longitudinal studies with standardized measures which can be shared and compared across studies-thereby overcoming the problem of significance chasing and approximate replications. Such biological tests, and the subtypes they define, will provide a natural basis for a 'stratified psychiatry' that will improve clinical outcomes across conventional diagnostic boundaries. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Patent
University of British Columbia and Basf | Date: 2013-11-11

In an example of a method for recovering lead from a mixed oxidized lead material, methane sulfonic acid is selected as a leaching acid for the mixed oxidized lead material. The mixed oxidized lead material is exposed to a solution including the methane sulfonic acid, which leaches lead from any of a lead oxide or a lead carbonate in the mixed oxidized lead material, and generates a liquid leachate including a lead-methane sulfonate salt. The liquid leachate is purified, and lead is recovered from the purified liquid leachate using electrolysis.


Patent
University of British Columbia and Basf | Date: 2013-11-11

In an example of a method for recovering lead from a lead material including lead sulfide, methane sulfonic acid is selected as a leaching acid for the lead material. The lead material is exposed to a solution including the methane sulfonic acid and i) ferric methane sulfonate or ii) oxygen, which leaches lead from the lead sulfide in the lead material, and generates a liquid leachate including a lead-methane sulfonate salt. The liquid leachate is purified, and lead is recovered from the purified liquid leachate using electrolysis.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: SEC-2012.7.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.66M | Year: 2013

The Critical Infrastructure Preparedness and Resilience Research Network or CIPRNet establishes a Network of Excellence in Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) R&D for a wide range of stakeholders including (multi)national emergency management, critical infrastructure (CI) operators, policy makers, and the society. CIPRNet builds a long-lasting, durable virtual centre of shared and integrated knowledge and expertise in CIP and CI MS&A (Modelling, Simulation and Analysis) by integrating part of the resources of the CIPRNet partners and their R&D activities acquired in more than 50 EU co-funded projects. This centre will form the foundation for the European Infrastructures Simulation & Analysis Centre (EISAC) by 2020. CIPRNet will strengthen and structure the European Research Area on CIP by using its network to outreach and link isolated research kernels and adjacent R&D areas. Activities include training and the ask the CIPRNet expert service to find and access the right pockets of CIP expertise in Europe. Moreover, CIPRNet enhances the resilience of CI in Europe by improving the knowledge and understanding, preparation and mitigation of CI disruptions and their consequences. The CIPRNet Joint Programme of Activities (JPA) integrates and makes complementary use of CIP and related knowledge, expertise, and resources (e.g., tools, methods, top experts and other staff) of the partners. The JPA forms the stepping stone for the development of the long-lasting cooperation and integration of R&D activities of the partners. The European CIP innovation process is boosted as substantial resources are integrated and focussed on the creation of added-value decision-support capabilities for (multi)national emergency management and CI owners. These capabilities provide timely, actionable, risk-informed CIP analyses and strategies that support the preparation for, response to, and recovery from major CI disruptions. The interest in CIPRNet is shown by 24 letters of support.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.1.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.31M | Year: 2010

Across Europe, people suffer losses not just from single hazards, but also from multiple events in combination. In both their occurrence and their consequences, different hazards are often causally related. Classes of interactions include triggered events, cascade effects, and rapid increases of vulnerability during successive hazards. Effective and efficient risk reduction, therefore, often needs to rest on a place-based synoptic view. MATRIX will tackle multiple natural hazards and risks in a common theoretical framework. It will integrate new methods for multi-type assessment, accounting for risk comparability, cascading hazards, and time-dependent vulnerability. MATRIX will identify the conditions under which the synoptic view provides significantly different and better results or potentially worse resultsthan established methods for single-type hazard and risk analysis. Three test cases (Naples, Cologne and the French West Indies), and a virtual city will provide MATRIX with all characteristic multi-hazard and multi-risk scenarios. The MATRIX IT-architecture for performing, analysing and visualising relevant scenarios will generate tools to support cost-effective mitigation and adaptation in multi-risk environments. MATRIX will build extensively on the most recent research on single hazard and risk methodologies carried out (or ongoing) in many national and international research projects, particularly those supported by DG Research of the European Commission. The MATRIX consortium draws together a wide range of expertise related to many of the most important hazards for Europe (earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, wildfires, winter storms, and both fluvial and coastal floods), as well as expertise on risk governance and decision-making. With ten leading research institutions (nine European and one Canadian), we also include end-user partners: from industry, and from the European National Platforms for Disaster Reduction.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

BOSTON—Add a new set of actors to the throng of gut microbes that influence health: fungi. So far, genetic sequencing of the microbiome has largely focused on bacteria, Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, explained in a session here at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes  . In 2015, Finlay and colleagues identified four bacteria that seemed to protect Canadian kids from developing asthma. They suspected that these bugs shaped the nascent immune system by bumping up levels of immune-modulating cells in the gut. But when the group sequenced the gut microbiome in a group of 100 children in Esmeraldas, Ecuador—a more rural setting, but with rates of asthma comparable to Canada’s—the best microbial predictor of asthma wasn’t a bacterium at all, but a genus of yeast known as Pichia (above). Three-month-olds who had it in their feces were more likely to develop asthma by the age of 5. How the yeast might boost asthma risk is far from clear—and it likely interacts with bacterial species to influence the immune system, Finlay says. But the find is new evidence that fungal organisms are not to be ignored. “The technology is there. We can do this now,” Finlay says. “And I think it’s going to open up another layer of complexity.” Check out our full coverage of AAAS 2017. *Correction, 20 Februrary, 3:05 p.m.: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that fungi were more abundant in the human microbiome than bacteria.


Oka A.,Research in Motion | Lampe L.,University of British Columbia
IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications | Year: 2010

Wireless Sensor Networks are well suited for tracking targets carrying RFID tags in indoor environments. Tracking based on the received signal strength indication (RSSI) is by far the cheapest and simplest option, but suffers from secular biases due to effects of multi-path, occlusions and decalibration, as well as large unbiased errors due to measurement noise. We propose a novel algorithm that solves these problems in a distributed, scalable and power-efficient manner. Firstly, our proposal includes a tandem incremental estimator that learns and tracks the radio environment of the network, and provides this knowledge for the use of the tracking algorithm, which eliminates the secular biases due to radio occlusions etc. Secondly, we reduce the unbiased tracking error by exploiting the co-dependencies in the motion of several targets (as in crowds or herds) via a fully distributed and tractable particle filter. We thereby extract a significant 'diversity gain' while still allowing the network to scale seamlessly to a large tracking area. In particular, we avoid the pitfalls of network congestion and severely shortened battery lifetimes that plague procedures based on the joint multi-target probability density. © 2010 IEEE.


Patent
Cangene U.S. Incorporated and University of British Columbia | Date: 2012-11-12

The present disclosure provides for a hyperimmune preparation comprising human polyclonal antibodies or fragments thereof specific to a cyclic peptide having an amino acid sequence comprising SNK. The cyclic peptide may comprise an amino acid sequence GSNK (SEQ ID NO: 1), SNKG(SEQ ID NO: 2), GSNKG (SEQ ID N0:3), CSNKG (SEQ ID NO: 4), CGSNKGC (SEQ ID NO: 5), CGSNKGG (SEQ ID NO: 6), or CCGSNKGC (SEQ ID NO: 7). The antibodies in the hyperimmune preparation may have a titer ranging from about 200 to about 400 mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). In one embodiment, greater than about 80% of the antibodies in the hyperimmune preparation are IgG. The fragments of the antibodies are Fab, F(ab)2, scFv, disulfide linked Fv, or mixtures thereof.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.33M | Year: 2014

Asymptomatic vascular damage accumulates for years before patients are identified and subjected to therapeutic measures. The limited knowledge on early vascular disease pathophysiology is reflected in the lack of therapeutic options. SysVasc aims to overcome this limitation by mounting a comprehensive systems medicine approach to elucidate pathological mechanisms, which will yield molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. The consortium is based on established multidisciplinary European research networks, including specialists in pre-clinical and clinical research, omics technologies, and systems biology from research intensive SMEs and academia; partners synergistically provide access to an extensive number of selected population-based cohorts and associated datasets, cutting edge modeling and simulation methods, and established cardiovascular disease (CVD) animal models and patient cohorts. The coordinated application of these tools and know-how will identify pathophysiological mechanisms and key molecules responsible for onset and progression of CVD and validate their potential to serve as molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. To this end, the consortium will also use unique resources to evaluate molecular homology between the available model systems and human disease, which will yield reliable essential preclinical research tools to explore proof of concepts for therapeutic intervention studies and ultimately translate relevant results into novel therapeutic approaches. Collectively, SysVasc will identify and validate novel biology-driven key molecular targets for CVD treatment. Major scientific, societal and economic impact is expected including, but not limited to, providing a valuable resource to further CVD research, and enhance competitiveness of participating SMEs and European health industry in general by translating knowledge into innovative services in therapeutic target and drug research.


Patent
French Institute for Research in Computer Science, Automation, Institute Polytechnique Of Grenoble and University of British Columbia | Date: 2013-05-21

Processing method for transforming a first surface into a second surface, according to which: a/ in a (k+1)^(th )iteration step, for each couple comprising a first elementary surface and a second elementary surface transformed from the first elementary surface in iteration k, the projection of the second elementary surface on the plane of the first elementary surface is determined and a matrix (A) is defined for said couple, where (A)=P_(k)^(t),(P^(t))^(1 )and P^(t)=[p_(n+1)p_(i)]_(i=1 to n), P_(k)^(t),=[p_(n+1,k)p_(i,k)]_(i=1 to n); b/ the second elementary surfaces obtained for the (k+1)^(th )iteration are determined as those minimizing a function including at least the term E_(shape)_(k+1)=(B).


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 22, 2017) - When you gamble, use your GameSense. That's the message MGM Resorts International will be sharing with its customers across North America as part of an agreement with BCLC, British Columbia's provincial gambling corporation, to license its responsible gambling program, GameSense. MGM anticipates having GameSense fully integrated into all 17 of its properties across the USA within the year. The agreement, announced at the fifth annual New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, B.C., marks the first time a program of this kind is being adopted by any commercial gaming company in North America. Introduced by BCLC in 2009, GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gambling program that encourages players to adopt behaviours and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders. MGM is adopting GameSense to enhance awareness and education about responsible gambling for players and guests and, in doing so, raising the standards within the industry. As part of the agreement, MGM has committed to funding $1 million USD over five years, towards a research partnership between BCLC, MGM, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas' (UNLV) International Gaming Institute. UNLV will help facilitate development of a consortium of internationally renowned experts in responsible gambling, and will also work closely with the University of British Columbia's Centre for Gambling Research. This will include a multi-faceted research project to enhance GameSense and all responsible gambling products based on new, data-driven, scientifically-based expertise in responsible gambling. Introduced by BCLC in 2009, GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gambling program that encourages players to adopt behaviours and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders. This includes setting and sticking to personally-allocated time and monetary limits for gambling, as well as being open and honest with family, friends and oneself when it comes to personal gambling habits. GameSense has earned international recognition such as the World Lottery Association's Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program (2010), and the U.S.- based National Council on Problem Gambling's Social Responsibility Award (2015). In addition to being licensed and piloted at MGM Resort International casino properties, the program has been implemented by Connecticut Lottery, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Canadian provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. BCLC is a Crown corporation offering socially responsible gambling entertainment through 35 casino gaming properties, 7 bingo halls, over 3,800 lottery retailers and through its online gaming website, PlayNow.com. Last year, BCLC generated more than $1.3 billion in net income to benefit provincial and community programs, including healthcare, education and charities across British Columbia, Canada. MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland on December 8, 2016, and is in the process of developing MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. MGM Resorts controls and holds a 76 percent economic interest in the operating partnership of MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE:MGP), a premier triple-net lease real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts. The Company also owns 56 percent of MGM China Holdings Limited (SEHK:2282), which owns MGM MACAU and is developing MGM COTAI, and 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino. MGM Resorts is named among FORTUNE® Magazine's 2016 list of World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com. "We believe it's our role to take the lead in providing better responsible gambling programming that supports our players, helps reduce harm and strengthens the gaming industry as a whole. We are thrilled MGM Resorts recognizes the value of our GameSense program, and wants to align with us to further the positive role it can play in reducing gambling-related harm." "MGM is excited to adopt the GameSense platform and to form this dynamic research enterprise. Our vision for GameSense is to transform the guest experience at our properties by providing a program that is rooted in enhanced customer service, player education, and leading research."


Benavente O.R.,University of British Columbia | Hart R.G.,Population Health Research Institute | McClure L.A.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Szychowski J.M.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Coffey C.S.,University of Iowa
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Lacunar infarcts are a frequent type of stroke caused mainly by cerebral small-vessel disease. The effectiveness of antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention has not been defined. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, multicenter trial involving 3020 patients with recent symptomatic lacunar infarcts identified by magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 75 mg of clopidogrel or placebo daily; patients in both groups received 325 mg of aspirin daily. The primary outcome was any recurrent stroke, including ischemic stroke and intracranial hemorrhage. RESULTS: The participants had a mean age of 63 years, and 63% were men. After a mean follow-up of 3.4 years, the risk of recurrent stroke was not significantly reduced with aspirin and clopidogrel (dual antiplatelet therapy) (125 strokes; rate, 2.5% per year) as compared with aspirin alone (138 strokes, 2.7% per year) (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.16), nor was the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.63 to 1.09) or disabling or fatal stroke (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.64). The risk of major hemorrhage was almost doubled with dual antiplatelet therapy (105 hemorrhages, 2.1% per year) as compared with aspirin alone (56, 1.1% per year) (hazard ratio, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.71; P<0.001). Among classifiable recurrent ischemic strokes, 71% (133 of 187) were lacunar strokes. All-cause mortality was increased among patients assigned to receive dual antiplatelet therapy (77 deaths in the group receiving aspirin alone vs. 113 in the group receiving dual antiplatelet therapy) (hazard ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.04; P = 0.004); this difference was not accounted for by fatal hemorrhages (9 in the group receiving dual antiplatelet therapy vs. 4 in the group receiving aspirin alone). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with recent lacunar strokes, the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin did not significantly reduce the risk of recurrent stroke and did significantly increase the risk of bleeding and death. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others; SPS3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00059306.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.


Muja M.,BitLit Media Inc | Lowe D.G.,University of British Columbia
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2014

For many computer vision and machine learning problems, large training sets are key for good performance. However, the most computationally expensive part of many computer vision and machine learning algorithms consists of finding nearest neighbor matches to high dimensional vectors that represent the training data. We propose new algorithms for approximate nearest neighbor matching and evaluate and compare them with previous algorithms. For matching high dimensional features, we find two algorithms to be the most efficient: the randomized k-d forest and a new algorithm proposed in this paper, the priority search k-means tree. We also propose a new algorithm for matching binary features by searching multiple hierarchical clustering trees and show it outperforms methods typically used in the literature. We show that the optimal nearest neighbor algorithm and its parameters depend on the data set characteristics and describe an automated configuration procedure for finding the best algorithm to search a particular data set. In order to scale to very large data sets that would otherwise not fit in the memory of a single machine, we propose a distributed nearest neighbor matching framework that can be used with any of the algorithms described in the paper. All this research has been released as an open source library called fast library for approximate nearest neighbors (FLANN), which has been incorporated into OpenCV and is now one of the most popular libraries for nearest neighbor matching. © 2014 IEEE.


Eisen A.,University of British Columbia | Kuwabara S.,Chiba University
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry | Year: 2012

In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), hand muscle wasting preferentially affects the 'thenar (lateral) hand', including the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles, with relative sparing of the hypothenar muscles (the abductor digiti minimi (ADM)). This peculiar pattern of dissociated atrophy of the intrinsic hand muscles is termed the 'split hand' and is rarely seen in diseases other than ALS. The muscles involved in the split hand are innervated through the same spinal segments (C8 and T1), and FDI and ADM, which are differentially affected, are both ulnar nerve innervated. The physiological mechanisms underlying the split hand in ALS are incompletely understood but both cortical and spinal/peripheral mechanisms are probably involved. Motor potentials evoked by magnetic stimulation are significantly smaller when recorded from the thenar complex, compared with the hypothenar muscles, supporting a cortical mechanism. But peripheral axonal excitability studies have suggested that APB/FDI motor axons have more prominent persistent sodium currents than ADM axons, leading to higher axonal excitability and thereby more ready degeneration. Pincer or precision grip is vital to human hand function, and frequent use of thenar complex muscles may lead to greater oxidative stress and metabolic demands at both upper and lower motoneurons innervating the APB and FDI. The split hand is a useful diagnostic sign in early ALS, and recent objective studies indicate that the sign has a high degree of specificity.


Balmforth N.J.,University of British Columbia | Frigaard I.A.,University of British Columbia | Ovarlez G.,University Paris Est Creteil
Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2014

The archetypal feature of a viscoplastic fluid is its yield stress: If the material is not sufficiently stressed, it behaves like a solid, but once the yield stress is exceeded, the material flows like a fluid. Such behavior characterizes materials common in industries such as petroleum and chemical processing, cosmetics, and food processing and in geophysical fluid dynamics. The most common idealization of a viscoplastic fluid is the Bingham model, which has been widely used to rationalize experimental data, even though it is a crude oversimplification of true rheological behavior. The popularity of the model is in its apparent simplicity. Despite this, the sudden transition between solid-like behavior and flow introduces significant complications into the dynamics, which, as a result, has resisted much analysis. Over recent decades, theoretical developments, both analytical and computational, have provided a better understanding of the effect of the yield stress. Simultaneously, greater insight into the material behavior of real fluids has been afforded by advances in rheometry. These developments have primed us for a better understanding of the various applications in the natural and engineering sciences. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Lesk C.,McGill University | Rowhani P.,University of Sussex | Ramankutty N.,McGill University | Ramankutty N.,University of British Columbia
Nature | Year: 2016

In recent years, several extreme weather disasters have partially or completely damaged regional crop production. While detailed regional accounts of the effects of extreme weather disasters exist, the global scale effects of droughts, floods and extreme temperature on crop production are yet to be quantified. Here we estimate for the first time, to our knowledge, national cereal production losses across the globe resulting from reported extreme weather disasters during 1964-2007. We show that droughts and extreme heat significantly reduced national cereal production by 9-10%, whereas our analysis could not identify an effect from floods and extreme cold in the national data. Analysing the underlying processes, we find that production losses due to droughts were associated with a reduction in both harvested area and yields, whereas extreme heat mainly decreased cereal yields. Furthermore, the results highlight ∼7% greater production damage from more recent droughts and 8-11% more damage in developed countries than in developing ones. Our findings may help to guide agricultural priorities in international disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Cenfetelli R.T.,University of British Columbia | Schwarz A.,Louisiana State University
Information Systems Research | Year: 2011

An important area of information systems (IS) research has been the identification of the individual-level Abeliefs that enable technology acceptance such as the usefulness, reliability, and flexibility of a system. This study posits the existence of additional beliefs that inhibit usage intentions and thus foster technology rejection rather than acceptance. We theorize that these inhibitors are more than just the antipoles of enablers (e.g., the opposite of usefulness or reliability) and so are distinct constructs worthy of their own investigation. Inhibitors are proposed to have effects on usage intentions beyond that of enablers as well as effects on enablers themselves. We report on a series of empirical studies designed to test the existence and effects of inhibitors. A candidate set of six inhibitors is shown to be distinct from enablers. These inhibitors are subsequently tested in a field study of 387 individuals nested within 32 different websites. Effects at both individual and website unit levels of analysis are tested using multilevel modeling. We find that inhibitors have negative effects on usage intentions, as well as on enablers, and these effects vary contingent upon individual or website unit levels of analysis. The overall results support the existence and importance of inhibitors in explaining individual intent to use-or not use-technology. © 2011 INFORMS.


Webb J.,University of British Columbia | Cribier A.,Charles University
European Heart Journal | Year: 2011

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is assuming a major role in the routine management of patients with aortic stenosis. Surgical aortic valve replacement is generally accepted to prolong survival, on the basis of historical comparisons and long experience. However, recently percutaneous transarterial TAVI has assumed the position as the only therapy in any aortic stenosis patient group demonstrated to prolong survival in a randomized trial. Arguably, percutaneous TAVI is now the standard of care in symptomatic patients who are not candidates for conventional surgery. On the basis of almost 10 years of experience TAVI also appears to be a reasonable option for some operable, but high-risk patients. Nevertheless considerable work needs to be done before the indications for TAVI are expanded into lower risk groups. We review what is currently known about percutaneous transarterial implantation of the aortic valve. © 2011 The Author.


Floresco S.B.,University of British Columbia | Jentsch J.D.,University of California at Los Angeles
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2011

Investigating how different pharmacological compounds may enhance learning, memory, and higher-order cognitive functions in laboratory animals is the first critical step toward the development of cognitive enhancers that may be used to ameliorate impairments in these functions in patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. Rather than focus on one aspect of cognition, or class of drug, in this review we provide a broad overview of how distinct classes of pharmacological compounds may enhance different types of memory and executive functioning, particularly those mediated by the prefrontal cortex. These include recognition memory, attention, working memory, and different components of behavioral flexibility. A key emphasis is placed on comparing and contrasting the effects of certain drugs on different cognitive and mnemonic functions, highlighting methodological issues associated with this type of research, tasks used to investigate these functions, and avenues for future research. Viewed collectively, studies of the neuropharmacological basis of cognition in rodents and non-human primates have identified targets that will hopefully open new avenues for the treatment of cognitive disabilities in persons affected by mental disorders. © 2011 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.


Patent
Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, Vib Vzw, University of Manchester, University of British Columbia and University of Antwerp | Date: 2013-07-01

This document relates to methods and materials for detecting mutations that can be linked to dementia. For example, methods and materials for detecting one or more mutations within PGRN nucleic acid are provided. This document also provides methods and materials for detecting the level of progranulin expression. In addition, this document relates to methods and materials for treating mammals having a neurodegenerative disorder (e.g., dementia). For example, methods and materials for increasing PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals are provided, as are methods and materials for identifying agents that can be used to increase PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals.


Patent
Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, University of Manchester, University of British Columbia, Vib Vzw and University of Antwerp | Date: 2014-01-22

This document relates to methods and materials for detecting mutations that can be linked to dementia. For example, methods and materials for detecting one or more mutations within PGRN nucleic acid are provided. This document also provides methods and materials for detecting the level of progranulin expression. In addition, this document relates to methods and materials for treating mammals having a neurodegenerative disorder (e.g., dementia). For example, methods and materials for increasing PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals are provided, as are methods and materials for identifying agents that can be used to increase PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals.


Lovering A.L.,University of Birmingham | Safadi S.S.,University of British Columbia | Strynadka N.C.J.,University of British Columbia
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2012

The peptidoglycan biosynthetic pathway is a critical process in the bacterial cell and is exploited as a target for the design of antibiotics. This pathway culminates in the production of the peptidoglycan layer, which is composed of polymerized glycan chains with cross-linked peptide substituents. This layer forms the major structural component of the protective barrier known as the cell wall. Disruption in the assembly of the peptidoglycan layer causes a weakened cell wall and subsequent bacterial lysis. With bacteria responsible for both properly functioning human health (probiotic strains) and potentially serious illness (pathogenic strains), a delicate balance is necessary during clinical intervention. Recent research has furthered our understanding of the precise molecular structures, mechanisms of action, and functional interactions involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. This research is helping guide our understanding of how to capitalize on peptidoglycan-based therapeutics and, at a more fundamental level, of the complex machinery that creates this critical barrier for bacterial survival. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Singleton A.B.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Farrer M.J.,University of British Columbia | Bonifati V.,Erasmus University Rotterdam
Movement Disorders | Year: 2013

The past 15 years has witnessed tremendous progress in our understanding of the genetic basis for Parkinson's disease (PD). Notably, whereas most mutations, such as those in SNCA, PINK1, PARK2, PARK7, PLA2G6, FBXO7, and ATP13A2, are a rare cause of disease, one particular mutation in LRRK2 has been found to be common in certain populations. There has been considerable progress in finding risk loci. To date, approximately 16 such loci exist; notably, some of these overlap with the genes known to contain disease-causing mutations. The identification of risk alleles has relied mostly on the application of revolutionary technologies; likewise, second-generation sequencing methods have facilitated the identification of new mutations in PD. These methods will continue to provide novel insights into PD. The utility of genetics in therapeutics relies primarily on leveraging findings to understand the pathogenesis of PD. Much of the investigation into the biology underlying PD has used these findings to define a pathway, or pathways, to pathogenesis by trying to fit disparate genetic defects onto the same network. This work has had some success, particularly in the context of monogenic disease, and is beginning to provide clues about potential therapeutic targets. Approaches toward therapies are also being provided more directly by genetics, notably by the reduction and clearance of alpha-synuclein and inhibition of Lrrk2 kinase activity. We believe this has been an exciting, productive time for PD genetics and, furthermore, that genetics will continue to drive the etiologic understanding and etiology-based therapeutic approaches in this disease. © 2013 Movement Disorders Society.


Raussendorf R.,University of British Columbia | Wei T.C.,University of British Columbia | Wei T.C.,State University of New York at Stony Brook
Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics | Year: 2012

Quantum computation is a novel way of information processing that allows, for certain classes of problems, exponential speedups over classical computation. Various models of quantum computation exist, such as the adiabatic, circuit, and measurement-based models. They have been proven equivalent in their computational power, but operate very differently. As such, they may be suitable for realization in different physical systems, and also offer different perspectives on open questions such as the precise origin of the quantum speedup. Here, we give an introduction to the one-way quantum computer, a scheme of measurement-based quantum computation (MBQC). In this model, the computation is driven by local measurements on a carefully chosen, highly entangled state. We discuss various aspects of this computational scheme, such as the role of entanglement and quantum correlations. We also give examples for ground states of simple Hamiltonians that enable universal quantum computation by local measurements. Copyright © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Gillis J.,Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics | Pavlidis P.,University of British Columbia
Bioinformatics | Year: 2013

Motivation: The Gene Ontology (GO) is heavily used in systems biology, but the potential for redundancy, confounds with other data sources and problems with stability over time have been little explored.Results: We report that GO annotations are stable over short periods, with 3% of genes not being most semantically similar to themselves between monthly GO editions. However, we find that genes can alter their 'functional identity' over time, with 20% of genes not matching to themselves (by semantic similarity) after 2 years. We further find that annotation bias in GO, in which some genes are more characterized than others, has declined in yeast, but generally increased in humans. Finally, we discovered that many entries in protein interaction databases are owing to the same published reports that are used for GO annotations, with 66% of assessed GO groups exhibiting this confound. We provide a case study to illustrate how this information can be used in analyses of gene sets and networks.Availability: Data available at http://chibi.ubc.ca/assessGO. © 2013 The Author.


Strasburg J.L.,Indiana University Bloomington | Rieseberg L.H.,University of British Columbia
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2011

The question of whether speciation can occur in the presence of gene flow has long been a contentious one. However, measuring the amount and timing of gene flow remains challenging. The computer program IMa2 allows researchers to estimate the timing of migration events for each locus during analyses, and these estimates have been used to infer the timing of introgression and mode of speciation. We use simulated data sets to examine the degree to which gene-flow timing estimates can be used for these purposes, and what demographic conditions and data sets may be most amenable to gene-flow timing estimation. We find that the 90% highest posterior density (HPD) interval of gene-flow timing is almost always substantially wider than the actual window of gene flow, and increasing the information content of the data set in terms of number of loci, number of sequences sampled or locus length (and thus number of variable sites) has little impact on the posterior distribution over the range of values we tested. Even when simulated gene flow only occurred over the most recent 0.01% of the species' history, the HPD interval usually encompasses the inferred divergence time. Our results indicate that gene-flow timing estimates made using the method currently implemented in IMa2 cannot reliably be used to make inferences about the timing of introgression between diverged species or to distinguish between speciation with gene flow and allopatric speciation followed by one or more episodes of gene flow. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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